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Brentwood commissioners approve temporary outdoor dining for city's restaurants

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At the regular Brentwood Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, the board approved a policy to allow temporary limited outdoor dining on sidewalk areas in front of restaurants through Jan. 1, 2021. 

Commissioners were concerned about the ongoing issues related to operating a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. They specifically expressed concern that Brentwood restaurants continue to experience hardships as they struggle to make payroll and generate enough business during this pandemic.

“Staff will evaluate limited outdoor dining proposals using a set of criteria that could be applied to ensure compliance with applicable Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and the safety of those using outdoor dining areas,” Brentwood Planning and Codes Director Jeff Dobson said.  

In addition, Dobson noted adequate space must also be provided for patrons of adjacent businesses to pass the dining areas without having to step into adjacent parking spaces or accessways.  

Other rules include:

• Outdoor dining areas must be set up directly outside the restaurant space

• In multi-tenant buildings, tables/chairs would not be permitted to spill over in front of other buildings/businesses

• Three to five tables maximum are allowed

• Outdoor dining seating in parking areas is not allowed

• If the restaurant space is leased, property owner authorization will be required

• No staff review fee is required

• Staff will conduct a site visit if necessary

The policy also states the new provisions would not be extended to existing restaurants that already have planning-commission-approved outdoor dining areas or seek to expand the number of tables/chairs they already have.  

Generally, requests to add outdoor dining areas in front of or adjacent to restaurant spaces reviewed by staff and approval by the Brentwood Planning Commission. 

There are several restaurants that regularly offer outdoor dining in Brentwood. The new COVID-19 friendly approvals will be temporary through the end of the year. Each restaurant would be responsible for properly cleaning the tables, maintaining the outside area in a safe and sanitary manner, and adhering to social distancing guidelines set by the state.

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