Outdoor seating: What county restaurants need to know

The Governor’s new Executive Order 20-112 has provisions for outdoor seating for restaurants to re-open at 25 percent of their current building occupancy.

In light of the 25 percent occupancy limitation, some restaurants may wish to increase their occupant load by incorporating outside seating or service areas.

Below are some guidelines for businesses who wish to utilize outdoor spaces for their business.

  • The Citrus County Growth Management Department will review all request for temporary outdoor seating/space utilization.
  • There will be no formal permits or fees, however there will be letters of authorization granted once a request or plan has been reviewed.
  • Operation will be limited to the length of the Emergency Declaration from the Governor.
  • Requests must be made in writing and must include the following:
  • Name and contact information of the business owner making the request.o Name and address of the business.

    o The nature of the business being conducted.

    o A sketch of the business site indicating the outdoor space to be utilized.

    o Estimated occupant load of the outdoor space to be utilized.

    o Parking and traffic flow must be maintained for the use and proposed occupant load.

    o If tents or canopies are to be utilized, a layout of the structure will be required that shows the location of poles, guy line and stake locations/spacing, and exit locations. Also indicate the layout of any tables, chairs, isles and pathways within the tent. Certification of the flame resistance rating of the tent fabric will be required. Note: Tent structures must be without walls or enclosing fabric. They must remain open air. Bug screening will be permissible.

    o No electrical, open flames, candles, pyrotechnics, fireworks or other fire hazards will be permitted. Solar and battery lighting may be utilized.

    o Handicapped accessibility must be maintained to all areas where the public is served.

Approval by Citrus County does not relieve any site or business from any other applicable DBPR and/or Environmental Health Services requirements. Check with those agencies for their specific requirements.
The goal is to review requests the same day received. For questions or further information, please contact the Citrus County Land Development Division at (352)-527-5239 or restaurantseating@citrusbocc.com.

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