UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF DORA EXPANSION LEGISLATION
Loveland City Council passed legislation earlier this week that allowed for the expansion of the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (“DORA”). The legislation was intended to allow patrons and customers of currently operating and newly opened downtown businesses to safely enjoy food and beverages and improve the economy of the City, while following the guidelines and recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control.
The legislation City Council passed allowed for the expansion of the dates and times the DORA can operate “beginning on the date Governor DeWine and Director Acton lift the Stay at Home Order, or otherwise amend it and other orders to allow residents to leave their places of residence to engage in non-essential work or activities.” The legislation also authorized the City Manager to “make a determination when this has occurred and shall notify the public and business owners in the DORA of the beginning of the expanded dates and hours of the DORA.”
We know the following:
On March 15, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine and Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an Order which limited the sale of food and beverages, liquor, beer and wine to carry-out and delivery only across the State of Ohio. Then, on March 17, 2020, they issued another Order which closed certain venues across the State of Ohio and prohibited gatherings of large groups of people. Then, on April 2, 2020, they issued an Amended Stay at Home Order which required all residents across the State of Ohio not engaged in essential work or activity to stay at home.
On April 27, 2020, the Governor announced his planned called “Responsible Restart Ohio” that provides certain dates on which specific type of businesses will be permitted to re-open with specific guidelines that require social distancing, limited occupancy, and other precautions to protect the health, welfare and safety of patrons and customers (the “Plan”).
On April 30, 2020 at 10:00 p.m., the Governor and Dr. Acton issued what was labeled the Ohio Stay Safe Order (the “April 30th Order”). While not announced until the next morning, among other things, the April 30th Order kept in place portions of the original Stay at Home Order, amended some of the original restrictions, and “authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life.”
The City is continuing to evaluate the specific language contained in the April 30th Order to determine if, and how, the City can implement the expansion of the DORA City Council passed. While the City is not prepared to implement the expanded DORA at this time, staff is monitoring the roll out and interpretation of the April 30th Order to determine when that can happen. The City is doing this in concert with other local communities, health guidelines, and our elected leaders. We will continue to update the public and local business owners as this process moves forward.