Amid clo­sures, city en­cour­ages Al Fresco din­ing

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JEN­NIFER A. GARCIA

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

Health reg­u­la­tions

• 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

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