City of Evansville reveals new permit process to expand restaurant outdoor seating

City of Evansville reveals new permit process to expand restaurant outdoor seating

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The City of Evansville has received the green light to help local restaurants until they can reopen at full capacity. That help comes in the form of a new permit process.

The permit process will help restaurants expand their outdoor seating capacity effective immediately, and it’s completely free to do so.

For restaurants looking to expand their on-site outdoor seating, for example into their parking lot, those plans need to be submitted and approved by the Chief Fire Marshal.

For places looking to expand temporarily into sidewalks or even roads, those plans need to be approved by either the Fire Marshal, City Engineer or by the Board of Public Works.

Through all of the expansion talks, Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer says some restaurants have been unable to even meet the 50% seating capacity because of social distancing measures. He says this process is one way for the government to help.

“I think it’s one of those things where every day continues. We keep coming up with new challenges, Schaefer said. "Restaurants and businesses all over the community are experiencing hardships. Restaurants are allowed to open right now, but you have bars and nightclubs that aren’t. So anything that we can do to help them expand their seating, but stay in their capacity for a temporary basis, we wanted to do that.”

Vanderburgh County plans to present a similar resolution Tuesday called the Vanderburgh County Restaurant Relief Resolution.

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