On May 14, Mayor Tom Murphy issued a proclamation to create temporary modifications to building and zoning requirements for restaurants and bars serving food. Murphy noted that these temporary measures have been taken in the interest of public health and wellness as the community, region, and state get back to business. In anticipation of the expiration of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” gubernatorial order on May 15, the town has been considering ways to make it easier for businesses to adhere to CDC and social distancing guidelines while also re-opening services to dine-in customers, in keeping with the more recent Governor’s orders, reopening restaurants.
“While Pima County’s recent 17 protective measures for reopening dine-in service are good, we will not mandate them with regulations and fines. We believe our restaurant owners know what it best for them and will self-regulate. We want our businesses to be able to open and thrive,” Murphy said. “But that can’t be at the expense of public health. We wanted to look at creative solutions for easing some of the town requirements for businesses, so that they can more easily and freely expand seating areas, create outdoor spaces for diners, and make full use of what resources may be available to them. It’s about thinking outside the box, and helping businesses responsibly serve customers who want to dine in.”
These temporary modifications to building and zoning requirements will allow restaurants to use vacant land, vacant indoor spaces, and common areas such as sidewalks and parking lots to expand seating capacity. It will also allow for restaurants to put up temporary structures such as tents or shade for outdoor dining.
Read the full mayor’s proclamation here.