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Dana Point Times Staff 

The City of Dana Point has announced a new temporary permit for local restaurants to help facilitate a safe, clean environment for workers and customers in compliance with the State’s COVID-19 guidance for business.

The intent of this temporary permit is to enable businesses to reopen with the ability to modify operations but to also ensure compatibility with the community, according to Brenda Wisneski, Community Development Director. Specifically, the temporary outdoor operating permit allows for outdoor seating on private property, in a private parking area, and/or in public right-of-way.

“This health crisis has been devastating to so many of our local businesses, especially our restaurants,” said Wisneski. “Many of them are anxious to reopen and want to comply with statewide guidance to effectively reduce health risks. Our intent is to do what we can to help our businesses to comply with the guidelines and open in a way that ensures a safe environment for the community.”

For Jack Loconsolo, owner of Jack’s Restaurant & Bar in Dana Point, the permit is a welcome modification.

“We immediately converted to curbside service in mid-March to serve customers and keep our staff employed,” Loconsolo said. “Since that time, the support from the local Dana Point community has been tremendous. While we are anxious to bring customers back to the restaurant, we know that they will be much more comfortable in an outdoor environment that allows for fresh air and greater social distancing.”

Loconsolo says he’s had similar set ups with beer gardens and special events in the past and he thinks that it will help bring the Lantern District to life. He added that the permit also helps to offset the reduction in seating to meet the new guidelines.

City staff will evaluate any impacts that arise to the surrounding community. Once outdoor service is completed, furniture will be brought indoors and/or secured on the property. The outdoor area must also be kept tidy from blowing trash. Staff will continue to monitor operations and provide modifications as needed.

Applications are available online, as well as, through the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce.

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