Howard County Executive Calvin Ball is launching a new Temporary Use Permit for Outdoor Table Service for restaurants and bars that do not currently have outdoor table service or need to expand existing outdoor table service. Beginning today, June 4th, businesses can apply by visiting:  https://accela1.howardcountymd.gov/citizenaccess/. If the proposed outdoor seating is located on private property, businesses may provisionally set up and begin using the outdoor seating; however Howard County may suspend, revoke, or require modifications to the arrangement should conditions that conflict with Howard County guidelinesor safe operations arise. If the proposed outdoor seating is located on county property, businesses must wait for their permit to be issued before setting up new seating.  

“We recognize the unique challenges of our restaurants and bars and created this expedited process to allow more businesses to reopen under current conditions,” said Ball. “Howard County has a robust restaurant industry, and we’re committed to creating systems throughout this crisis that support their ability to serve their customers and remain safe and healthy.”  

Businesses must follow all requirements of applicable Executive Orders, and requirements and guidance issued by local, state and federal authorities. Continued outdoor table service requires approval of your application and the issuance of all applicable permits. Permits are temporary and applicable during the state of emergency. If you have any questions, please call 410-313-2455, option #4, or email permits@howardcountymd.gov.   

Howard County worked with the Liquor Board to extend on-premises alcohol consumption. This collaboration prevents restaurants and bars from needing to seek multiple permits. The Liquor Board added the following amendment to its rules: “During the current state of emergency related to COVID-19, Licensees may apply for a temporary extension of premises for on premises consumption in an outdoor serving area on a form provided by Howard County without the requirement of public notice, public hearing, or liquor board application.” 

“This is another big step forward to allow more restaurants to open up and expand their operations,” said Larry Twele, Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO. “This will put more employees back to work while providing residents a safe way to enjoy their favorite dining options”   

“Visit Howard County commends Howard County Executive Calvin Ball for his work in expediting the expansion of outdoor seating at restaurants,” added Amanda Hof, Executive Director of Visit Howard County, “The return of on-premise dining will be a much-welcomed amenity for residents and a vital step in helping restaurants recover from the financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“We are pleased that County Executive Ball included restaurants in his decision-making process,” said Marshall Weston, President & CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland. “Outdoor seating is a step in the right direction as restaurants try to survive this crisis. Restaurants welcome the opportunity to continue working with the County Executive and his team as we move towards indoor dining.” 

“For both businesses and workers alike, getting our restaurants open is paramount,” said Leonardo McClarty, President & CEO of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. “The ability to expand outdoor seating or provide special arrangements for those with limited outdoor seating is a major step in the right direction.” 

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Scott E

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