Following Governor Jared Polis’ call for cities to expand outdoor dining with social distancing, the city of Colorado Springs is taking applications for temporary use permits to expand dining areas into private parking lots, sidewalks, cafe patio extensions and balcony seating.

To help the permitting process along, the city’s planning department will waive fees for revocable and temporary permits, and expedite the review process to one week.

“Restaurants have been one of the harder-hit industries during the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Colorado Springs City Clerk Sarah Johnson said in a news release from the city.

“As businesses work to comply with public health orders, implementing these creative solutions for restaurants to accommodate more customers can help them be more sustainable.”

Restaurateurs can apply for planning department approval for expanded outdoor dining at coloradosprings.gov/OutdoorDining.

The City Clerk’s office, complying with a recent Colorado State Liquor License Enforcement Division rule change, is expediting the local process for restaurants to modify their liquor licensed premises to temporarily serve alcohol in an expanded dining service area.

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Both city and state Liquor Enforcement Division applications and approvals are required, the city said in the news release. Information on applications for a Temporary Modification of Premises of the existing liquor license is at coloradosprings.gov/liquor.

Temporary liquor license modification permits and revocable and temporary use permits will be issued for 120 days and may be extended by future public health orders.

Outdoor seating areas must also comply with the El Paso County Public Health limited dine-in regulations for COVID-19.

Restaurants should contact El Paso County Public Health to determine any additional requirements for outdoor seating. Contact healthinfo@elpasoco.com or (719) 578-3199 for more information.

“We continue to work with the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, Downtown Partnership and the City’s economic development division to find new solutions for businesses in this era of social distancing. Businesses may have circumstances unique to their location, but we are committed to work with restaurants to help them navigate zoning and permitting regulations,” said Peter Wysocki, director of Colorado Springs City Planning and Community Development.

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