Encroachment permits handled by Caltrans, for outdoor seating

COURTESY: ANNICK JOSEPH (KIEM)

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM)-Two weeks ago (July 13th) today, Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back reopening in response to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state.  

Restaurants were given a four day warning that dine-in would no longer be allowed, on and after July 17th, and will be notified by Humboldt or Del Norte counties health department when dine-in can resume.

No one has yet requested an encroachment permit for outdoor seating, according to Deputy District 1 Director, Tom Fitzgerald.

“We haven’t received a permit application yet but we have not issued any of these permits in district one,” he said. “We have had interest from, like I said Lake County, and we are getting a little, were in talks with Ferndale.

“There was an interest from their city manager and we provided the information on how they can go about it, but that’s about how far it’s come, we have not received a permit application yet.”

Encroachment permits for cities and counties allow for temporary use of sidewalks and curbside parking areas within state highway right-of-way for COVID-19, related non-transportation uses.

The permit also ensures those who’d like to offer outdoor seating make sure their outdoor seating ADA, and allows enough room for a wheelchair to safely move unobstructed along the sidewalk.

Fitzgerald says, anyone who is granted an encroachment permit for outdoor seating must be aware that the newly sectioned off seating area must be open to any and everyone, not only their patrons.

Servers will no longer be able to take table orders or money transactions unless they are at a counter or a designated to-go area.

Locals and tourist are just happy restaurants still have a sit-down option, even it has to be outside.

Jennifer Shields is Ferndale resident and yoga instructor.

“Yeah, so I think it’s nice that there is an option for people to gather and still be around each other,” she said.

Dan Galbraith is visiting Ferndale from Nevada City, California.

“I love outdoor seating,” he said.  “I think it’s far better than having no alternative whatsoever.”

Businesses interested in an encroachment permit should contact their respective city manager’s office.

More information can be found by clicking here.