City of Chico expands outdoor dining services

The City of Chico has a new emergency order that lets restaurants move out into common areas as the state bans indoor dining.

Posted: Jul 16, 2020 6:58 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 9:24 AM

CHICO, Calif. -- After Gov. Gavin Newsom's statewide closure of indoor dining at restaurants, the City of Chico issued an emergency order to help soften negative impacts on businesses.

Restaurants and places that serve alcohol can apply with the city for temporary permits allowing them to serve outside of their space. That includes sidewalks, parking lots, and recreation spaces.

"We're really excited about it because we know that these businesses are struggling right now, and we're giving them the opportunity to be able to make their way in the difficult time," said City of Chico Associate Planner Dexter O'Connell.

Action News Now spoke to multiple businesses trying to figure out if they plan on expanding, but many of them are unsure and still gathering information.

These expansion areas must be adjacent to the existing business and cannot exceed 100% of normal capacity.

Prospective applicants will need to list the city as an insured party for liability reasons.

O'Connell said, "Once the application, the site plan, the insurance policy are turned in, we'll process that permit and issue that right away. There's no fee for businesses to apply for this permit."

There are two paths to expanding outdoor dining depending on the business' location.

Businesses looking to expand into their own parking lot or private space, you do that through the city's planning division.

Those looking to use public sidewalks and recreation spaces need to contact public works.

Businesses needing to contact the planning division are encouraged to email O'Connell directly at dexter.oconnell@chicoca.gov or call them at 530-879-6800. Public Works number for inquiries is 530-879-6900.

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