Temecula Businesses Are Expanding Outdoors Amid Coronavirus

Toni McAllister

TEMECULA, CA — To help facilitate social distancing amid coronavirus, many businesses that have been allowed to reopen in Temecula may start serving customers indoors and out.

To facilitate the process, the city announced it is allowing restaurants, retailers and other businesses to apply for no-cost temporary outdoor expansion permits. For example, beginning June 24, portions of Old Town Front Street will temporarily close to vehicular traffic so businesses can expand their footprint onto sidewalks and into the street for dining and shopping.

Any business that wants to participate can apply at no charge for a "COVID-19 Special Event Permit: Public Right-of-Way Temporary Expansion for Old Town Temecula."

Newly formed pedestrian centers in Old Town, created by the street closures, are based on the level of localized business participation, and may remain in place until the State of California removes restrictions on occupancy and social distancing, according to the city.

To support the program in Old Town, two new parking lots in front of City Hall will open with 90 additional free public parking spaces. All other private and public parking lots in Old Town remain accessible to vehicles.

“Old Town Temecula is a unique destination in Temecula with a street pattern fully capable of piloting a more pedestrian-oriented experience, and we are excited to support our local businesses in this way," said City Council Member Zak Schwank, who is also part of the Old Town Steering Committee. "I am confident that our community will embrace the opportunity to stroll the streets in Old Town Temecula.”

Through its "Temporary Expanded Dining/Retail Program," the city is also offering a no-cost "COVID-19 Temporary Use Permit: Private Property Temporary Expansion" for businesses outside of Old Town.

For more information and to download the permits, visit TemeculaCA.gov/TED. Both permits are designed to ensure compliance with safety requirements including ADA accessibility, alcohol licenses, life safety, fire and additional considerations, according to the city.

This article originally appeared on the Temecula Patch