Belfast city council approves plan allowing restaurants, retailers to conduct business in outdoor public spaces

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 2:00pm

BELFAST — The Belfast City Council unanimously approved a Temporary Use of City Facilities and Property Policy as well as “Curbside Belfast” a Temporary Outdoor Restaurant and Retail Operation Permit at its May 19 city council meeting, according to a news release. 

Both the new policy and new permit will begin on Friday, May 22 and extend through Monday, Oct. 12

This policy and permit will allow for both restaurants and retailers to conduct their business in public areas or adjacent property outside of their licensed footprint, per the release, which could include public parking spots, public green spaces or noncontiguous property owned by a business.

This policy is temporary, in response to the impact on economic activity due to COVID-19, and aligns with the recommendations of the Center with Disease Control and Governor Mills’ Rural Reopening Executive Order, the release noted. 

“This is very Belfast,” stated Mayor Eric Sanders. “As people cautiously and safely begin to reopen, we are impressed with the determination and originality of our downtown businesses, and more than willing to help assist in the careful coordination. One of the positives I’ve seen in this crisis is the City’s ability to listen to, and work with our downtown businesses, of which we are fervently proud.”

“The Belfast City Council continues to demonstrate their ability to adapt quickly to support our citizens and businesses in meaningful ways during this unprecedented time,” said City Manager Erin Herbig. “The City of Belfast will work together with businesses to make Curbside Belfast as success despite the obstacles presented by COVID-19.”

The City of Belfast began accepting applications for the temporary permit earlier Wednesday. 

Businesses can apply to the program by completing an application and submitting via email to: ceo@cityofbelfast.org or via postal mail: Bub Fournier, Code Enforcement Officer City of Belfast 131 Church Street Belfast, Maine 04915.

More information on the program and the application can be found on the City of Belfast website: cityofbelfast.org.