Amid closures, city encourages Al Fresco dining
Businesses to include indoor malls, bars, barbershops, nail salons and restaurants offering indoor dining were ordered to close once again, effective July 13, under an order from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The move is an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, which continues to infect people throughout the state. Many of the businesses had been open for a short time.
In an effort to help restaurants remain viable during this pandemic and closure period, the City of Palmdale is accepting applications for the new Al Fresco Outdoor Dining Program.
With the new order from the governor closing indoor dining, the City of Palmdale is encouraging Palmdale restaurants to apply for the dining program, the City’s Facebook page said.
The program is designed to allow restaurants to expand their service by offering outdoor seating, instead of dining indoors. The governor’s order still allows restaurants that offer outdoor seating to continue serving the public in that way, in addition to offering delivery and takeout services.
Under the Al Fresco Outdoor dining Program, restaurants would temporarily exapand dine-in service to public sidewalks and/or off-street parking areas, according to a press release from the City of Palmdale.
Mayor Steve Hofbauer said the goal in creating Al Fresco is to continue to support local businesses during these “tough times and provide them with as many tools as possible to succeed.”
The application is about five pages long and asks for the applicant’s name, as well as that of the property owner and other personal information, such as an address, phone number and where the business plans to expand: Sidewalk, off-street parking lot or other. It also asks for a project description, to include the location of the expansion area.
Some criteria must also be met:
• Comply with applicable Governor’s Executive Orders
• Comply with all applicable Los Angeles County Health Officer orders
• Comply with all applicable Los Angeles County Environmental
• Comply with any relevant Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control (ABC) regulations
• Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, codes, regulations and requirements
• Comply with all physical distancing requirements as required by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department
• Business are required to maintain compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Accessible parking spaces for the disabled shall always be kept open and accessible for use
• Exits must not be blocked or enclosed
• Fire lanes must be kept clear and accessible. Businesses must not block fire lanes or fire hydrants
• Designated areas for loading or deliveries must be free and clear so that traffic is not impeded
• Transit stops must be kept clear and accessible
• Agree to comply with Temporary Outdoor Dining Expansion requirements and related conditions of approval
• All temporary outdoor dine-in areas must be enclosed by temporary barriers or delineations for safety of individuals within the temporary area
In addition, the occupancy of the proposed dining area shall not exceed the original maximum occupancy of the business prior to COVID-19 and the allowable square footage of the proposed temporary outdoor dining area shall not exceed 25% of the combined indoor and outdoor (if applicable) dining area prior to COVID-19.
Applicants must also have a pre-existing CUP with the City of Palmdale to serve alcohol.
“With the new order from the governor closing indoor dining, it’s even more important now than ever that our restaurants take advantage of our Al Fresco program,” Hofbauer said. “It will help them during this difficult period and give residents an opportunity to enjoy a great meal in a new outdoor experience.”
There is no fee to apply for the program. Applications are available by visiting www. cityofpalmdale.org/alfresco