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Council Approves ‘Back to Business’ Initiative to Allow Temporary Outdoor Expansions

The City Council on Tuesday, May 26 approved an emergency ordinance that will allow commercial businesses and religious institutions to expand into parking lots, sidewalks, or other private and public property to meet State of California physical distancing requirements.

Under an emergency temporary use permit process, the City will allow businesses to use parking areas and other property for expanded outdoor dining, retail, and other commercial business activities, as well as religious services, in a manner that provides adequate distancing. Approved businesses will be allowed to use temporary banners to promote their services.

The “Fast Track Back to Business Initiative” was proposed by a City Council Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of Mayor Will O’Neill and Council members Diane Dixon and Kevin Muldoon, that has been meeting with local business leaders to explore ways to safely expedite Newport Beach’s business reopening.

"I'd like to thank the business owners and community leaders who took part in the productive discussions that led to this emergency ordinance," O'Neill said. "I look forward to continuing our dialogue and bringing forward ideas that will help Newport Beach bounce back as quickly and safely as possible."

To qualify for a temporary use permit, applicants must demonstrate:

  • ADA accessibility.
  • Safe circulation and queuing for drivers and pedestrians.
  • Compliance with existing restaurant occupancy limitations, hours of operation, and restrictions on alcohol usage.
  • Delineation of outdoor dining spaces with physical barriers or markers.
  • Adequate parking.
  • That the temporary use would not create any hazard to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
  • That state guidelines for physical distancing are utilized and practiced.

The emergency temporary use permits will expire 14 days after the City’s COVID-19 emergency ordinance is lifted.

Applications for businesses and religious institutions will be available shortly at: www.newportbeachca.gov/backtobusiness/

 

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