Loudoun County businesses seeking temporary outdoor seating permits won’t have to pay a fee for the application to do so.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to make changes to its administrative process for temporary outdoor seating permits for local businesses. The board’s action includes not charging any fees for the permit and suspending enforcement of the 30-day advance submission requirement outlined in the 1993 county zoning ordinance.
Under the governor’s executive order No. 61 — issued during the COVID-19 pandemic — restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries and wineries are allowed to operate with outdoor seating providing they obtain and maintain a Virginia Department of Health and ABC Authority Permit for the sale of alcohol.
In order for Loudoun to review the proposed use of temporary outdoor seating, county staff developed an administrative process for the submission of a “Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit” application that required a sketch of the area to be used.
The application process has been in use since May 29, and 25 permits have been issued without a fee, according to county staff.
Grafton deButts, Loudoun Chamber vice president of government affairs, applauded the board and county staff’s efforts. He said the board’s action shows the county’s understanding for the business community and the need for quick responses to safely serve customers.
“On behalf of our over 1,100 business members, thank you to Supervisor [Mike] Turner, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, and the Loudoun County Planning and Zoning staff on the creation and approval of new Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit for Loudoun’s Businesses,” deButts said in a prepared statement. “The quick response to our businesses economic situation during the pandemic has led to many businesses being able to open sooner, workers able to return to their jobs, and more customers to patron their favorite establishments safely.”