FREMONT, Calif. (KRON) — The City of Fremont launches a new pilot program that will allow small businesses to use outdoor space to conduct business beginning June 19.

Fremont will allow for brick-and-mortar restaurants and retailers by granting temporary access to public or private spaces amid restricted indoor operations by Alameda County to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The pilot program called Pop Up Patio will provide much-needed economic relief for businesses by developing a process to help restaurants and retail businesses to move dining and commercial activities outdoors.

Enabling restaurants and retail businesses to move outdoors allows people to practice social distancing and safely serve customers.

To ensure the needs of our business community are met during this challenging time, Fremont has positioned itself as a leader by having all aspects of the pilot program in place ahead of the Alameda County’s approval for small local businesses to re-open to the public and offer outdoor dining and retail operations on June 19,” Fremont Mayor Lily Mei said.

“Through the early creation of a streamlined permitting process, we are excited to see how the new pilot program will positively impact our community as a whole and further support our resilient small businesses.”

The Pop Up Patio program will allow city staff and participating businesses to test and evaluate standards and propose zoning amendments for a permanent program citywide.

The pilot program will asses the use of outdoor space based on three different scenarios:

  • on the public sidewalk
  • within public on-street parking spaces
  • within private plazas and parking lots

The city has waived the permit fee for businesses participating in the pilot program.

The application process will open up this week and comes in the midst of recently released revised guidelines from the Alameda County Public Health Department for reopening of local business activities beginning June 19.

Permits that are approved will be held in a ready-to-issue status until the county health order changes to allow outdoor dinning and retail starting June 19 — applicants will be immediately issued a permit allowing them to build and use their Pop Up Patio.

City staff is currently reviewing and approving permits.

Restaurants and retailers that are interested in participating in the Pop Up Patio pilot program can apply here.