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Posted on: May 29, 2020

Restaurants and Bars can now Apply for Special Use Permits for Expanded Businesses

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The ‘Safer at Home’ public health order has been extended by Colorado Governor Jared Polis through Monday, June 1, 2020. The governor is reviewing new modeling data and Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar says he expects that over the weekend, new guidance and modifications to Polis’ Safer at Home’ order should be released.

On Tuesday, May 26th, the fourth amendment to the ‘Safer at Home was released by Polis, allowing for in-person dining at restaurants. The amendment encourages restaurants to continue offering curbside pickup and delivery, including alcoholic pickup and delivery.’ Beginning May 27th, restaurants can resume in-person dining if they can demonstrate compliance with this order.

Under the order, indoor dining is limited to 50% of capacity or 50 people, whichever is less. Strict criteria for social distancing and measures to protect the public and employees of the restaurant must be adhered to.

“Puebloans have done a good job staying at home and we have slowed the spread of the virus,” says the mayor. “As a result, the public health director, county commissioners, city council president and I met earlier this week to craft a request for the variance that would relax some of the restrictions of the ‘Safer at Home’ order.”

This past Tuesday, the Pueblo City Council approved an emergency ordinance implementing a streamlined process for restaurants to apply for and receive permits for temporary outdoor dining areas to help the increase their capacity and serve more members of the public.

The ordinance will make it easier to get a special use permit for the use of public property outdoors and will expand the areas where they can serve alcoholic beverages while we continue to fight the pandemic.

“Most summer evenings in Pueblo are spectacular for outdoor dining and I hope that our favorite restaurants will take advantage of this opportunity to expand their capacity,” says Gradisar. “If you prefer inside dining, you are safer picking up your favorite meal and taking it home.”

Operators of restaurants can find instructions, applications, and frequently asked questions on the city’s website at www.pueblo.us and Facebook page beginning today.

As an additional resource, the city’s COVID-19 Restaurant Temporary Permit Hotline telephone number is (719) 553-2615.

A variance has also been requested from the state for places of worship and indoor malls, gyms, bars, bowling alleys, education events, and libraries among other things. The city is also asking that the Pueblo County Department of Public Health and Environment be allowed to grant specific variances for ballparks, racetracks, recreational activities and public gatherings and events if they can demonstrate a plan to do so safely.

Ordinarily, the permit process could take about a month and would have to be approved by the city council. Under the emergency ordinance, the permits will be approved by Mayor Nick Gradisar and should take about ten days.

The permit will expire on December 31st, 2020.

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