City of Ojai to allow businesses to use outside areas

OJAILOGOOn July 23, the city of Ojai announced an order allowing businesses to use outside areas. According to Ojai City Manager James Vega, "The order is intended to allow businesses that are impacted by the state’s order, which closed the indoor operations of many businesses within Ventura County, to reopen. Businesses can apply through the city for a temporary use permit and submit a plan to operate in an outdoor expansion area.

"The City is waiving fees for these permits in an effort to help support local businesses that have been impacted by the closure orders. For more information, please visit or call the City’s Community Development Department at (805) 646-5581, ext. 112."

 The executive order — including the city's "Temporary Business Outdoor Expansion Area Regulations — is available at this link:
The link was not opening July 23, so the order is copied below:
Temporary Business Outdoor Expansion Area Regulations
On July 13, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued a Public Health Officer Order (Order) to close all indoor operations for various businesses. Compliance with the Order could result in the closure of a business or modifications to the business operations that would make it no longer cost effective to operate.  By issuing a Temporary Use Permit – COVID-19B, the City is allowing businesses to temporarily expand their footprint into public spaces and other areas to accommodate business operations at pre-COVID-19 levels. The below provides a roadmap for businesses to follow.  The TUP-COVID-19 permit issued under this Order is for any business which is not otherwise prohibited from outside operations by County or State law or regulation, and which is not a restaurant, for which TUP-COVID-19 permits would be issued under the authority of DES No. 2.
Requirements for a Temporary Use Permit – COVID-19B (TUP-COVID-19B)
To be issued a TUP-COVID-19B, businesses must:
    • Remain in compliance with the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for the applicable Industry Sector;
    • Be registered at
    • Remain in compliance with face covering requirements.
    • Remain in compliance with the County of Ventura Health Officer’s Orders.
    • Remain in compliance with the County of Ventura Environmental Health regulations.
    • Remain in compliance with California Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) regulations.
City staff shall be authorized to enter and inspect premises to ensure compliance with the above requirements.
General Requirements
    • A TUP-COVID-19B will be authorized while indoor business operations are no longer allowed by State or County directive or Order. 
    • ADA accessibility is required for expanded business areas.
    • Where applicable and possible, all the businesses in the shopping center should cooperate in preparing a centralized areas utilizing outdoor areas.
    • A letter of permission from the property owner must be submitted if the applicant does not own the property where the outdoor business is to be located. 
    • Social distancing must also be maintained to individuals in a public sidewalk or from anyone that may be utilizing the business that has located outdoors. 
    • The layout cannot block egress.
    • Bars, wineries, brewpubs, and breweries that have a previously approved alcoholic beverage license may continue to sell alcoholic beverages in accordance with the ABC Fourth Notice of Regulatory Relief within the expanded outdoor area and in accordance with County and State guidance.
    • All business areas must be maintained and clean of litter.
    • No bar seating or temporary outdoor bars will be permitted on the expanded footprint area.
    • Proposed hours must be clearly identified in the application.
    • A TUP-COVID-19B is not transferrable.
Outdoor Business Areas
Outdoor areas adjacent to a business may be used to expand the footprint of the business under the following guidelines:
    • Outdoor areas may include sidewalks, parking lots, and unused patio areas determined on a case by case basis. 
    • The allowable number of parking spaces to be utilized for outdoor areas will be determined on a case by case basis.
    • If use of public sidewalks are being proposed, City authorization must be obtained via issuance of an encroachment permit. Anything added to public sidewalks shall not impede sight distances, access to utilities, or the minimum necessary safe pedestrian path of travel and shall address safety from vehicles. Proof of insurance may be required naming the City as additional insured. The City will not charge a fee for the encroachment permit.
    • If possible, expanded outdoor areas shall not block or restrict access to handicapped parking spaces (to be reviewed on a case by case basis).
    • Outdoor areas cannot interfere with deliveries. If space is limited, the business can provide alternative hours for deliveries that are outside of normal operating hours.
    • If tents, canopies, or other shelters are used, only one side may be closed to allow for sufficient outdoor air movement in accordance with State, County, and CDC guidelines.
    • Business services may be provided so long as the customer is not required to enter the business establishment.
    • For outdoor areas, provide a scaled diagram of the currently licensed premises and the proposed temporary area, clearly delineating the respective spaces, and include the following:
        ◦ Size and placement of the proposed business area;
        ◦ If using parking spaces, indicate number to be used;
        ◦ Path of pedestrian travel from the business(s) to business area. If this path crosses drive aisles, signage may be required to warn drivers of frequent pedestrian crossings;
        ◦ Temporary or fixed barriers or delineations to be utilized that will enable the business to control the temporary area;
        ◦ Traffic management devices to be used to prevent entry of vehicles into seating area if using parking spaces;
        ◦ If required, a 20 foot wide path will need to be maintained for Fire Department access and any required fire access must be maintained.
        ◦ Entrance and exit from the business area; 
        ◦ Any railings, canopies, cooking appliances, heaters, temporary electrical cords, and other relevant information;
Additional safety considerations
    • If the business area will include any tents or canopies, obtain copies of the flame resistance certificate(s) from the tent manufacturer or rental company.
    • Seating cannot be expanded into unimproved properties or areas identified as open space, preserve, drainage or detention areas.
    • Temporary signage may be proposed as part of the application.
    • The free-standing sign can be placed within the outdoor business area facing the path of travel.
    • Unless otherwise permitted, signs must comply with the prohibitions contained within Ojai Municipal Code section 10-2.1605. 
TUP-COVID-19B Application
A Temporary Use Permit-COVID-19B application including the following elements:
    • Letter of permission from property owner or landlord, if necessary.
    • Scaled diagram as noted above
    • Text and square footages of signs if any are to be used
    • Indicate originally approved square footage and the square footage of the outdoor area to be used.
    • An affidavit confirming that deliveries will not be impacted and the required Fire Department, Ventura County Environmental Health Department and Department of Alcohol Beverage Control regulations will be complied with
    • All fees related to a TUP-COVID-19B are waived
A TUP-COVID-19B may be cancelled as follows:
    • Failure to comply with the issued TUP-COVID-19B permit.
    • Upon the termination of the local emergency by the City Council.
    • Failure to comply with the applicable COVID-19 Industry Guidance.
    • Failure to remain in compliance with the ABC regulations, regulations of the County of Ventura Environmental Health, violation of the Orders of the County of Ventura Health Officer, or for violation of applicable laws, rules, ordinances, and other directives pertaining to business activities conducted on the premises and expanded area;
    • For disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of nearby residents and businesses;


  Director of Emergency Services 

executive order no. 20-08
WHEREAS, in December 2019, a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China, causing outbreaks of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 that has now spread globally;
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in response to COVID-19;
WHEREAS, on March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to exist in California as a result of COVID-19;
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-25-20 giving state and local public health officials the authority to issue guidance limiting or recommending limitations upon attendance at public assemblies, conferences or other mass events;
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, Ventura County’s Public Health Department declared a local health emergency;
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency as a result of COVID-19;
WHEREAS, 25% of the residents of Ojai are over the age of 65 and at particular risk;
WHEREAS, Ojai Municipal Code section 3-1.05 states the City Manager is the Director of Emergency Services;
WHEREAS, Ojai Municipal Code section 3-1.06 gives the Director of Emergency Services broad authority (1) to make and issue rules and regulations on matters reasonably related to the protection of life and property, (2) to obtain vital supplies, equipment, and such other properties found lacking and needed for the protection of life and property, (3) to require and command emergency services, (4) to requisition the necessary personnel or materials of any City department or agency, and (5) to exercise all his or her lawful powers;
WHEREAS, the City Manager, acting as the Director of Emergency Services, did proclaim the existence of a local emergency within the City on March 13, 2020;
WHEREAS,, the City Council ratified the City Manager’s proclamation on March 13, 2020; and
WHEREAS, Government Code section 8634 states, “During a local emergency the governing body of a political subdivision, or officials designated thereby, may promulgate orders and regulations necessary to provide for the protection of life and property, including orders or regulations imposing a curfew within designated boundaries where necessary to preserve the public order and safety. Such orders and regulations and amendments and rescissions thereof shall be in writing and shall be given widespread publicity and notice.”
WHEREAS,, in the interest of public health and safety, as well as economic viability of businesses that employ and serve the public, as affected by the emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to issue and implement this Order to protect life, property and civil order.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, James Vega, City Manager of the City of Ojai, as Director of Emergency Services (“DES”), in accordance with the authority vested in me by Government Code section 8634, Ojai Municipal Code section 3-1.05, and City Council Resolution No. 20-11, do hereby issue the following order to become effective immediately:
SECTION 1. The DES hereby suspends, to the extent necessary, any portion of the Ojai Municipal Code that would impair the Business Outdoor Expansion Area Regulations attached as Exhibit A (“Temporary Business Outdoor Expansion Area Regulations”) to this Order. 
SECTION 2. The DES hereby adopts the Temporary Business Outdoor Expansion Area Regulations attached as Exhibit A.  All establishments availing themselves of the activities permitted in Exhibit A must follow all of the provisions therein.  Establishments must continue to follow all applicable state laws, orders and regulations, including but not limited to orders and regulations of the Governor of the State of California, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), and the County of Ventura, which are not modified or altered by this Order.
SECTION 3. This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the City of Ojai, or any of its officials, employees, contractors, agents or volunteers.
SECTION 4. This Order shall be in force and effect until and unless superseded by a duly enacted Ordinance or Resolution of the City Council of the City of Ojai or a further Order by the Director of Emergency Services adopted during the Local Emergency that expressly supersedes this Order, or until the date that the DES or the City Council declare the Local Emergency to be ended, whichever is sooner.  
SECTION 5. Severability.  If any section, clause or other portion of this Order is for any reason to be held invalid or unconstitutional by any final, unappealable decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Order.  Should the Governor, the County or ABC issue further orders, rules or regulations addressing the business matters covered by this Order, this Order shall be interpreted to the extent feasible in a manner consistent with such orders rules or regulations.   
SECTION 6. This order shall be given publicity and notice as required by California Government Code Section 8634.
SECTION 7. The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Order and shall cause a certified Order to be filed in the Office of the City Clerk.
PASSED and ADOPTED this 23rd day of July 2020.
Gail Davis, Deputy City Clerk James Vega, Director of Emergency
Services/City Manager





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