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Town of Sahuarita adopting temporary requirements for restaurants, dine-in locations

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Posted at 6:47 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 21:47:02-04

SAHUARITA, Ariz. — The Town of Sahuarita is adopting temporary modifications to building and zoning requirements for restaurants and other dine-in locations during the COVID-19 emergency. This comes a day after the Pima County Board of Supervisors established measures for reopening, which does not affect businesses within the town's boundaries.

In a proclamation, the town's mayor set guidelines in order to "improve the health of restaurants and dine-in establishments in Sahuarita and help maintain our local economy...."

According to the guidelines, there are no specific limits made on the size of seating area expansions. This is to allow maximum flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of business sizes, locations and types. Restaurants are also given the flexibility to work with the landlord or building owner to identify the best locations to establish expanding seating areas.

As for expanded seating areas, they do not have to be adjacent to the existing restaurant. The proclamation does suggest seating areas be in the shade or other areas such as a parking lot away from the main building. Businesses do need to note certain state liquor license requirements, which may affect the location of the expanded seating.

If businesses do wish to expand seating on sidewalks and common areas, the proclamation says there is minimal criteria. However, if businesses plan to use these areas they must adhere to the Americans with Disabilities compliance requirements. Expanded seating also should not block parking spaces designated for individuals with disabilities or emergency service access lanes, according to the proclamation.

The proclamation also goes on to say if businesses choose to use tents, they are allowed to do so. If it is less than 900 square feet and open on two or more sides, no permit is necessary. If it exceeds 900 square feet, a building permit is required with a fire inspection. If construction is required, a staff evaluation will be needed to determine other necessary permits.

The Planning and Building Department will provide one-day review and evaluation for proposed temporary outdoor expansion, according to the proclamation. A simple floor/plan, landlord/owner consent letter and vehicle barrier diagram (when located in a parking lot) can be submitted by email to dparry@sahuaritaaz.gov. You can also call (520) 822-8855 for more information.