Since most restaurants were allowed to reopen in May, many businesses have been operating at limited capacity to allow for more distance between seating to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
To help smaller restaurants in the area add more capacity in a safer manner, the city of Brentwood will allow restaurants to set up outdoor dining areas through the end of the year.
The measure was approved unanimously during the Brentwood City Commission meeting Oct. 12.
Through Jan. 1, 2021, restaurants in the city can apply to add outdoor seating. Typically, restaurants would need approval through the Brentwood Planning Commission. However, the new measure will allow city staff to approve outdoor dining proposals instead.
"I think this is a very good policy that will be used in a very limited number of places," Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little said during the meeting. "It's been really hard on big business and small businesses, and so I think this is something that we can do and help our small businesses here in Brentwood, and I think that that's a good thing."
City Manager Kirk Bednar said the city will still ensure any outdoor seating meets safety standards and is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new guidelines will allow restaurants to set up three to five tables directly outside but will not allow them to use parking lot space for seating.