Tuscarora Mill Outdoor Seating

Tuscarora Mill Restaurant in downtown Leesburg has transformed its parking lot into an outdoor dining space.

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.”

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Click here for the application and a summary of the permit requirements.

(10) comments

amerigirl

They should try some small road closures to accommodate social distancing for all the small business in areas. It could help more than just restaurants.

David Dickinson

I like the vastly expanded outdoor seating a lot. I hope we keep it in the future.

Fiscalconservative

It's a shame the BOS is not more forward thinking, this should have been done a long time ago. Instead they are looking at too many things, many of which are not as important as this. I hope restaurant owners will take notice and remember this the next election cycle. This group clearly does not understand how important local businesses are.

RandomName2019

From an overall community perspective, yes, local businesses are important. From a tax base and revenue perspective, they're virtually unimportant when compared to high dollar things like data centers, the toll road, the airport, and big chain locations.

Fiscalconservative

Most businesses started small and grew and without the opportunity to start they would not be where they are today.

amerigirl

We weren't legally allowed to do that a long time ago, in fact that was just allowed 2 days ago. I guess that makes them fast thinking. I hope instead of encouraging people to vote for something that couldn't have happened you will look it up first. It looks like they do understand how important local businesses are you just don't understand the logistics.

Fiscalconservative

The Governor passed announced prior to May 15, 2020 that effective May 15, 2020 restaurants could offer outdoor seating, this is more than 20 days ago. Furthermore, the BOS like a business should be forward thinking and be ready to ask. I have owned three small business and most small businesses have 30 days of cash in reserves, if they cannot operate longer than that they go out of businesses. We saw today a large business, The Dulles Toll Road is not generating enough to cover their share for the Silver Line. This will continue to happen as this pandemic continues. Now more than ever the BOS needs to focus on carefully spending the funds they have and planning for not having as much for the near future. This is not a political statement, it is reality. It is evident the boards lacks the business sense to make the right decisions.

amerigirl

That was supposed to be 20 some not 2 days

Sunday Sinner

LOL his name is Grafton deButts.

springerdad

His first name should be Saton

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