Outdoor dining extended in Sacramento through June 2022

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved an extension of the pandemic law that allows restaurants to offer outdoor dining just off their property.

The extension will allow businesses to host outdoor dining on the sidewalk, portions of the street and parking lots through June 2022.

City Parking Manager Matt Eierman said in a release that 122 restaurants are participating in the program that helped many restaurants survive.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg called the move a “no-brainer” for the city.

It has been a most difficult period in our community history for businesses and workers, and yet during this period we showed how outdoor dining enlivens our street and our business corridors. It’s a no-brainer for a city that loves the outdoors, and it must become a permanent feature of our city.

Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Mayor

The city will work to bring a more uniform, aesthetically pleasing look to the outdoor dining spaces, which today vary greatly, Eierman said. They will also work to improve access for people with disabilities.

While Sacramento and other cities are extending outdoor dining, not everyone is on the same page.

City officials in Placerville are letting the temporary permits lapse, and outdoor venues located on the street must be removed.

Placerville city officials told FOX40 one of their biggest concerns was safety and liability, saying customers are just a few inches away from an accident in any outdoor dining facility.

“It took me three months and a lot of money to build it,” said Kaitlyn Keyt, owner of the Enchanted Forest restaurant, which has themed outdoor booths with video fireplaces and electronic rivers embedded into its tables. 

Keyt is fighting the removals with a petition and said that Governor Gavin Newsom and El Dorado County favor an extension of outdoor dining.

The city’s other concern is that the venues are often haphazard in their design, which they say detracts from the historic look of the street, but said there is a possibility of bringing them back if design rules are met. 

As of Tuesday, Californians can eat, drink and rub shoulders at restaurants, movie theaters and most other businesses without COVID-19 restrictions.

Infections have dropped precipitously, and more than 70% of eligible people have gotten at least one shot, leading Gov. Newsom to end the tier system and fully reopen the state.

Counties are expected to follow the state guidelines, but they have the option of enforcing stricter regulations. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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