Farmington extends outdoor business rules through spring

Farmington’s outdoor dining and shopping season will last a bit longer this year, continuing even after the snow flies.

City council members on Monday extended a resolution that gives businesses more freedom to move their operations outdoors. The action, which would have expired on October 31, now runs through April 14, 2021.

The original resolution, approved in June, was designed to help businesses cope with COVID-19 social distancing requirements, and to encourage customers to shop, drink, and dine locally.

Downtown Farmington outdoor seating
This seating area popped up behind Basement Burger Bar and 1Up Arcade & Bar. (Farmington DDA)

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) helped by providing outdoor tables, chairs, patio umbrellas, and more for spaces that have popped up behind businesses on the north and south sides of Grand River.

Council member Maria Taylor asked what will happen when the snow flies.

“As weather changes, we have a small administrative committee… that has met to talk about that specifically,” Economic and Community Development Director Kevin Christiansen said. “We’re also coordinating with Public Works. We’re very mindful about how we provide service in these areas.”

In addition to snow removal, discussions have included salting surfaces and keeping adjacent walkways cleared and salted. While outdoor areas are now open air, some business owners have inquired about putting up canopies, tents, or hard enclosures, Christiansen said.

Later in the meeting, DDA board president Todd Craft said the organization has applied for $30,000 in reimbursement through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Those funds will be invested in standing outdoor heating units.

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