The City of Duluth is hoping to make some temporary changes to allow restaurants to offer more outdoor seating in order to open back up to patrons. Mayor Larson asked the City Council to temporarily amend the Unified Development Code to make the process easier for this to happen.

Mayor Larson told WDIO "The intent is to allow for greater ability to quickly establish social distancing practices at local businesses and to allow for new business innovations such as curbside pickup areas on a temporary basis ."

The Mayor said she hopes that businesses will look around their properties and make adjustments to make this happen. She went on to tell WDIO "So part of this is expanding seating into sidewalk areas, creating a little more elbow room. In some cases, it will be using adjacent parking lots that are privately owned but still would need to get city approval to space out and to give people more space to recreate, to congregate, and to safely work."

At this point restaurants and bars have to keep their dining rooms closed through May 18, per Gov. Tim Walz's Stay at Home order. The city will need to make sure that the areas will be accessible and also some fees would be waived as well. The Duluth City Council will vote on the measure this evening.

This will be interesting to see how some restaurants will be able to work around making outdoor seating, but hopefully area businesses will all work together so that these restaurants can open and people get back to work safely. Thankfully the weather is getting warmer which makes this a viable option for some.

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