Apopka City Council acts quickly in favor of business, joining bigger cities of Tampa and Orlando in expanded use of space during COVID-19
This week’s City Council meeting netted a decisive resolution to promote local business recovery.
As of May 6, the Council voted to immediately waive certain permits and regulations in order to clear the way for restaurants, retail and service-oriented businesses to use parking lots, commercial spaces and erect shade structures in order to help increase their customer traffic.
Helping protect Apopka’s workforce, customers and the community at large, the Council’s decision gives local business owners more tools and space to safely serve their guests and clients, and more quickly find their way back to stability in the midst of COVID-19.
Under Governor DeSantis’ phase one reopening plan, restaurants with outdoor seating can reopen as long as there is 6 feet between tables and inside seating is limited to 25 percent capacity. Retail stores and service businesses have to do the same, limiting interior store capacity to 25 percent.
But as the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) Secretary Halsey Beshears said, cities do not need to follow a “one-size-fits-all approach” in complying with DeSantis’ order.
Tampa and Orlando took that to heart, and now Apopka joins too, finding creative ways to move forward better in phase one reopening.
The Apopka City Council Resolution 2020-09 allows for the following:
- Temporary waivers of restrictions on the use of outdoor portions of commercial property for dining, service or retail so that these business can use parking and other spaces for business. Includes also the ability to erect temporary shade structures to support such activities (think canopy or tent).
- Permit costs for these shade structures are waived
- This temporary expanded use of public spaces is effective for 90 days from approval, unless the City Council terminates it earlier, or unless the State Executive Order #20-52 expires or is terminated. The City Council can also extend, expand or renew this resolution.