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Geneva restaurants and bars now have the option to offer temporary outdoor seating through the end of 2021. If the request involves using public property, a new license agreement must be submitted to the City by Friday, July 2.After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the City adopted temporary guidelines to assist restaurants and bars in expanding their outdoor seating options for the spring and summer. Businesses were afforded the same opportunity starting in March with the initial intention of removing the temporary outdoor seating 15 days after the State reopened as part of the Restore Illinois Phase 5 plan.The Geneva City Council voted June 21 to extend outdoor seating options on both public and private property through Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 to help foster the economic recovery following the pandemic restrictions. Restaurants and bars that wish to continue with outdoor seating on public property are required to enter a new temporary license agreement even if they filled one out earlier this spring. The license agreement is not necessary for temporary private property seating expansion.The City has distributed information to local restaurant and bar owners and has posted new guidelines, an application form, and an interactive map on the City’s COVID-19 Resources for Businesses web page.All outdoor dining areas must comply with the State’s restaurant and bar establishment safety guidelines and Kane County Health Department regulations.Any expanded temporary outdoor seating will revert to the original use at the end of the year and will not be automatically continued in 2022.
In 2020, the City authorized stores and restaurants to reserve one public parking space per business and to add temporary signage to facilitate curbside service. With those regulations set to expire on Thursday, July 1, businesses must remove cones and signage to return those spaces for use by the general public.The City recognizes some restaurants and stores may be interested in continuing curbside service as part of their ongoing operations. The City has attempted to devise an equitable way to provide curbside opportunities without disrupting neighboring merchants. Given the number of downtown businesses in close proximity and the delicate balance of parking needs, this is a difficult goal to achieve.Business owners who feel strongly about maintaining curbside pickup or have recommendations for implementation are welcome to call the City’s Economic Development Department at 630-232-7449 or email Economic Development Director Cathleen Tymoszenko.For commuters, parking in the Third Street parking deck and Route 31 overflow lot will remain free of charge until Friday, Oct. 1.More information about the City of Geneva’s COVID-19 response is available on the City’s website.