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Duluth making changes for restaurants to expand outdoor seating

Baihly Warfield
Created: May 06, 2020 05:19 PM

The City of Duluth is working on some changes to help restaurants and bars expand seating options once they reopen. 

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Mayor Emily Larson is asking the City Council to temporarily amend the Unified Development Code to make the regulatory process behind expansion easier. 

"The intent is to allow for greater ability to quickly establish social distancing practices at local businesses and to allow for new business innovations such as curbside pickup areas on a temporary basis," she said. 

The mayor said she hopes local businesses will take a look at their surroundings and make adjustments. 

"So part of this is expanding seating into sidewalk areas, creating a little more elbow room," Larson said. "In some cases, it will be using adjacent parking lots that are privately owned but still would need to get city approval to space out and to give people more space to recreate, to congregate, and to safely work." 

The city will still keep a close eye on ADA accessibility, according to the mayor. The resolution would also temporarily waive some fees. 

Duluth city councilors will vote on it on Monday. 

Currently, restaurants and bars must keep their dining rooms closed through May 18, per Gov. Tim Walz's Stay at Home order. 

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Baihly Warfield

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