Mayor Woodward signs order making it easier for businesses to expand outdoor services

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward signed an executive order to fast-tack a permit process designed to help local restaurants and retailers maximize business capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Many local businesses have reopened in phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan. Under the plan, restaurants are required to operate at 50% capacity and retailers at 30%. 

Those restrictions have posed a problem for some businesses also struggling to maintain social distancing requirements in an already small space.    

READ: Spokane fast tracks permit process for restaurants, retailers looking to expand under new guidelines

The streateries and parklets permit will allow businesses to gain access to sidewalks, on-street parking stalls, and parking lots while maintaining social distancing guidelines. 

According to a release from the City, the Restaurant and Retail Recovery Plan will provide temporary flexibility to the permit process, so businesses can apply for the permit faster. 

“We have to be innovative to support healthy businesses, customers, and the community as we slowly and safely reopen our region,” said Mayor Nadine Woodward. “Expanding dining capacity outside of restaurants is a creative way to meet physical distancing requirements that reduce illness but support needed robust business activity. It’s how we support the governor’s restart plan, but keep our businesses viable.” 

Businesses can now apply for the necessary permits.

RELATED: Spokane City Council votes to modify requirements for ‘streateries’ in effort to help restaurants

READ: For here or to go? A list of local restaurants now offering dine-in services