FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Monday night, City Council is expected to vote on two emergency bills to ease the requirements for outdoor dining spaces as the Springfield community continues its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and reopens in phases.
The current “Road to Recovery” Order limits customer occupancy of restaurants and of lawfully approved patio seating to 25% of the result of the total square footage of the restaurant divided by 30, and is expected to be in effect until June 15, when that percentage may increase to 50%, provided state orders allow such level of occupancy and the measures tracked on the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard indicate reopening further is prudent.
Council Bill 2020-130 on Monday night’s agenda would suspend enforcement of the parking ratios for restaurants to allow the use of restaurant parking lots as outdoor dining spaces to provide additional dining and service opportunities during Mayor Ken McClure’s Declaration of Civil Emergency.
Council Bill 2020-131 would waive the application fees for encroachment permits in the Downtown Springfield and Commercial Street Community Improvement Districts for sidewalk cafes through Nov. 30 and modify the insurance requirement for sidewalk cafes during the civil emergency.
If City Council passes the bills and once the application period opens, anyone seeking to establish outdoor dining facilities in a private parking lot should contact Matt Schaefer at 417-864-1100 to apply for a permit. There will be no permit fee. Anyone seeking to establish outdoor dining facilities on a sidewalk in the Downtown Springfield or Commercial Street Community Improvement Districts should contact Dawne Gardner at 417-864-1863 to apply for an encroachment permit.
“City Council recognizes the impact of these restrictions on the ability of restaurants to effectively and efficiently operate, and that making these allowances for the duration of the Mayor’s declaration of civil emergency, or any amendment thereto, reduces the negative impact of occupancy restrictions on restaurants and eases compliance with the restriction – therefore furthering the important public health goal of limiting person-to-person contact,” said Planning and Development Director Mary Lilly Smith.
Please note: citizens wishing to sign up to speak at the meeting or remove an item from the consent agenda are required to contact City Clerk Anita Cotter by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 31. This can be done via an online form, by calling 417-864-1651 or by emailing [email protected]. The agenda is located here.
Citizens who have signed up with the City Clerk in accordance with the new rule will be provided the option to participate in the meeting electronically in Room 108 on the first floor of Historic City Hall.
Citizens who have experienced any of the following, will not be allowed inside City Hall:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Respiratory illness (cough, difficulty breathing)
- Traveled in the past 14 days to an affected area
- Been exposed to someone who has traveled to an affected area
- Been exposed to someone who has been evaluated for the illness or confirmed illness.
Citizens wishing to submit their comments rather than appear are asked to do so via an online form or by emailing [email protected] by 5 p.m., Sunday, May 31.
City Council meetings can be viewed on Mediacom cable channels 15.1, 22 and 80 and AT&T Uverse channel 99, or viewed online at Cityview.springfieldmo.gov/livestream. The meetings are also livestreamed on the @CityofSgf Facebook page.
For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-380-3352 or [email protected] or Mary Lilly Smith, Director of Planning & Development, at 417-864-1094 or [email protected].