Lincoln mayor issues executive order to allow restaurants to expand seating outdoors

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird on Thursday announced she is taking emergency action to temporarily relax certain requirements to allow restaurants to expand their seating capacity.
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Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird on Thursday announced she is taking emergency action to temporarily relax certain requirements to allow restaurants to expand their seating capacity.

Gaylor Baird issued an executive order to create a free outdoor dining permit application and approval process for Lincoln restaurants.

The permits could allow restaurants to expand seating to adjacent outdoor spaces, whether they are public or privately-owned.

A team has been established to review and approve permits, and has the ability to waive or amend code requirements related to outdoor dining.

Examples given by city officials include restaurants expanding to parking lots using tents or onto sidewalks.

Any change would have to fit into the current directed health measures, and permits could be revoked if they create a public safety hazard, officials said.

Gaylor Baird said current regulations do not allow for alcohol to be served in such spaces, but officials are also working on adjustments to state and local restrictions to allow for it to be served along with food.

A proposal to streamline the approval process for liquor licenses is set to be discussed by the Lincoln City Council on June 1, Gaylor Baird said. Even if approved, Gaylor Baird said any proposal would have to comply with state laws.

 

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