Emergency Council Meeting Opens Streets for Dining
Eight downtown Ripon restaurants may soon be able to serve dinners in front of their restaurants on the streets in a ruling Friday afternoon by the city council in a 3 p.m. emergency council meeting that lasted little more than 15 minutes.
Ripon Chamber of Commerce President Kelly Donohue first contacted restaurant owners to see how they would sponsor outside dining during the remainder of the current pandemic threat. The four members of the city council all voted in favor of the plan designed to help restaurant owners to survive the current flu epidemic.
Restaurants like other businesses have lost income during the government closure designed to sidestep the flu epidemic with many reportedly unable to keep up with their bills and other expenses.
Some restaurant owners said they would make use of the parking areas behind their eateries while others are opting to erect tents in curbside parking in front of the restaurants with tables and chairs to serve their diners.
Donohue said the city staff had been working very hard preparing the amendment to the current city code. On Monday the restaurant owners will be asked to prepare plans for their businesses on just how they want to best expand their outdoor restaurant facilities.
Shade structures such as umbrellas or other forms of shading the diners will be included in the plans being presented to the city before permits for the outside dining are approved.