The Columbia Heights City Council unanimously approved an emergency interim ordinance Monday, June 22, which allows restaurants to establish temporary outdoor dining through Sunday, Nov. 15, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Planner Elizabeth Hammond said the city currently has a temporary event permitting process, which can issue permits for temporary events lasting up to 30 days.

“This is how we administratively review requests for temporary events such as summer events like the beer tent and concert at Immaculate Conception, Ecuadorian Festival or the annual Ramadan celebrations at various restaurants,” Hammond said. “For temporary events such as these, the property owner and tenant, if applicable, complete and submit an application along with a site plan showing where they are proposing tents or any outdoor sales and dining.”

Hammond said the plan is then reviewed by the Columbia Heights Fire Department and building official. In some instances a temporary liquor license is required.

The new emergency interim ordinance would extend the 30-day time frame to allow for outdoor dining through Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. The application and review process would remain the same, Hammond said.

“I appreciate (your team) getting together and taking care of this,” Mayor Donna Schmitt said to Hammond.

The City Council unanimously approved the emergency interim ordinance.


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