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

Post Date:05/26/2020 9:23 pm

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:


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COVID-19 Coronavirus

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected globally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

The City of Newport Beach is working with federal, state, and local partners including the CDC, the OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will share more as we are updated from our colleagues at the local, state and/or federal level.

Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

  • The Governor of California enacted an Executive Order for all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except for essential needs
  • It is imperative for everyone to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from others when performing essential need activities outside of your homes.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to limit spreading the infection.
  • For more information, please visit the following websites:


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