What 'parklets' in Chico could look like as outdoor dining expands

It has been more than two weeks since Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor dining in the state to stop. Action News Now looks into the safety protocols and what methods there are in Chico to expand outdoor dining.

Posted: Jul 30, 2020 9:55 AM
Updated: Jul 30, 2020 10:52 AM

CHICO, Calif. - It has been more than two weeks since Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor dining in the state to stop. Action News Now took a look into the safety protocols of outdoor dining and what methods there are in Chico to expand the concept.

Nowadays if you decide to go out to eat, the only option will be to sit outside and eat takeout with the family or friends.

"We have to support all of these restaurants or we're not going to have them when this is all over," said Barbara Doweon, an outdoor diner.

Action News Now talked with other diners and most of them had the same concept for going to outdoor dining including Marietta Taylor, another outdoor diner in Chico.

"People need to have social interactions with others," Taylor said.

But before you go out to eat outdoors, there are some rules in regards to where you will sit.

"Parameters are things like staying away from ADA [American Disabilities Act] parking, not being in the way of travel lanes, fire lanes, or exits from buildings," said Brendan Vieg, community development director for the City of Chico.

Tables also have to be at least six feet apart and comply with CDC guidelines.

"It really comes down to safety. Following the CDC guidelines but also providing accessibility in the public right of way," said Brendan Ottoboni, director of public works engineering for the City of Chico.

Ottoboni tells Action News Now that restaurants like Madison Bear Garden applied for a parklet. That means the restaurant would use existing parking space and convert it into an outdoor dining area.

Most of the concept comes from the City of Pasadena, where local leaders there have already implemented parklets for their outdoor dining.

There would be barriers right next to the tables set in the parklet.

"Those will be placed at the very front edge in the direction of traffic so that if a car happens to drive through it will stop the car," Ottoboni said.

Ultimately, it's the owner's responsibility to maintain the space if they decide to have a parklet nearby. Action News Now asked Ottoboni when we could see temporary parklets come to Chico, he says hopefully very soon.

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Data is updated nightly.

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Although temperatures began to rise today around northern California, our weather was still quite pleasant for early August. Enjoy the below-average highs will we have them, because hotter weather will return soon.
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