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The Biddeford City Council has passed an emergency ordinance allowing public space to be used for outdoor operations of retail businesses and restaurants.
The City of Biddeford will begin offering a temporary special event permit to both restaurants and retail operations in the community. The permits will allow public space, such as sidewalks, parking spaces, streets or parks to be converted into outdoor seating areas or retail space for restaurants and retailers daily between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
In accordance with Governor Janet Mills’ latest guidelines for reopening businesses, restaurants in York County may only offer outdoor or to-go dining in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, owners of small retail establishments and restaurants have expressed concern about their ability to meet safe distancing requirements due to a lack of physical space inside their business.
“This new ordinance will allow our local businesses to find ways to continue operations during this difficult time, but in a safe manner that complies with statewide guidelines,” said Mayor Alan Casavant. “I look forward to enjoying the treats of our outstanding restaurants and having greater access to our wonderful shops. Dining and shopping locally will be a great help to our neighbors and friends who have invested in our community."
The ordinance is effective throughout the city beginning on Friday, June 5, 2020 and will continue through Monday, October 12, 2020 or upon relevant modification of the Governor’s reopening plan.
To be considered for a permit, interested business owners must submit an application packet with sketches of the planned outdoor area to the Code Enforcement Office. The City Manager will have the authority to approve submitted applications after a 24-hour review period by the City Council. If there are objections to the plan, then the application will be considered by the Policy Committee.
Visit www.biddefordmaine.org/outdoorpermit for more information or to access the application form.