The City of Fort Collins is continuing to allow expanded outdoor dining in the public right-of-way into the future to aid local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expanded dining areas will be permitted in the City until the end of COVID-19 related emergency orders are lifted however, the orders are currently in effect indefinitely. The purposes of these areas are to allow for increased physical distancing for dining and retail patrons.
Restaurants, bars, breweries, retail, and other establishments alike have been applying to the City to open outdoor seating or retail areas on sidewalks on in public parking spaces since May in accordance with state guidelines. The City reviews outdoor expansion areas and requires that they meet accessibility requirements such as maintaining sidewalk access.
The City provides barries for the outdoor areas if it is in public parking spaces with businesses providing their own furnishings. Additionally, responsibility for snow removal within the expansion areas will also fall on the businesses.
Businesses have been able to apply for a variance from City parking rules to create outdoor dining or retail areas in their own parking lots in areas of the City that are less dense. Any businesses already utilizing expanded areas and want to continue their expanded dining and retail can do so but are required to submit plans to the City if adding new features such as a heater in the coming winter months.
City Manager Darin Atteberry authorized the continuation of the emergency order on Thursday, September 24 as the outdoor dining/retail area program was originally scheduled to run through the end of September.
Businesses that do not currently have expanded outdoor dining/retail may apply for the program at www.fcgov.com/outdoordiningapplication