Fall is here and the winter months aren’t far behind. Businesses that have been operating outdoors and have made it this far are now grappling with the thorny issue of how they will continue to operate once the temperatures dip and the winter rains begin.

On Tuesday October 20, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors tackled this issue and passed an ordinance designed to make doing business easier during the winter months. The ordinance allows for certain temporary modifications to those businesses that are only allowed to operate outdoors due to the Covid-19 health orders. Some of these affected businesses include yoga studios, gyms, fitness centers, restaurants and wineries, and many others.

Under the ordinance, businesses may provide temporary structures, such as tents, awnings and the like, to accommodate their operations as long as the state and county health and shelter-in-place orders are still in effect. These businesses may utilize adjacent areas such as parking lots, hardscape and existing landscaping areas and up to 75% of their existing designated off-street parking spaces (excluding ADA required spaces). FAQs about ordinance specifics are being developed.

Once the pandemic is over and businesses can operate normally, they will be required to remove the temporary structure(s) or apply for a permit to keep them.

West Business Development Center is just a call or email away from help with any permitting questions answered by our expert permit specialist. And like all of West Center’s services, our advice and assistance is offered at no cost. Call West Center today at 707-964-7571.