Brick and mortar businesses and religious and cultural institutions in Fountain Valley now have the opportunity to temporarily use public open space to run their operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The move by the city is meant to alleviate economic burdens that businesses faced as some had no private outdoor space as well as those that need more room because of the state limit of opening at no more than 25% indoor capacity.

“It was designed for local business. It gives them the opportunity to help with the local economy,” said Yvette Aguilar, the city’s community services manager.

The City Council in September approved an amendment to Fountain Valley’s existing coronavirus emergency order issued in early summer. The original order had directed the city manager to allow restaurants or commercial businesses to utilize portions of their private sidewalks and parking lots for operations.

“This (amendment) was created for businesses that did not already have the space they needed,” added Aguilar. 

A temporary public park and open space use permit would allow businesses and organizations to set up their services in a designated public open space under certain rules like limited hours of operation, space usage, and daily maintenance and litter cleanup. 

Rob Frizzelle, the city’s community service director indicated that the Fountain Valley Sports Park is an area that is being looked at for these businesses to operate. 

“However,” Frizzelle added, “staff plans to work with each individual impacted business on a case by case basis to help determine the most appropriate and beneficial location.”

According to a City Council agenda report, the action will have no financial impact on the city. The amendment also has no expiration date as the city continues to follow local, state, and federal orders. 

The permit application and the official emergency order amendment can be found on the city’s website.

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