Eagle establishes permit process for outdoor dining, festivals | VailDaily.com

Eagle establishes permit process for outdoor dining, festivals

Town ends special outdoor dining program on Broadway, 2nd Street, puts new authorization process into place

Brush Creek Saloon is one of three businesses that benefited from the town of Eagle’s special allowances for outdoor dining implemented in 2020.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

The Eagle Town Council established a new permit process last week requiring administrative approval for festivals and allowing for communal outdoor dining areas.

This move builds upon Eagle’s efforts to support more outdoor dining during the pandemic. Starting last year, the town’s “Be Our Guest” initiative closed a portion of Second Street and allowed sidewalk patios to support outdoor dining for three businesses, one Town Council member said.

“The (Be Our Guest) feedback received from participating business owners is that the program was the small boost they needed to weather the pandemic,” said Town Council member Ellen Bodenhemier. “Given that feedback, I’d say the program was a success.”

The town allowed local businesses to apply for street closures to support outdoor dining. Through this special allowance, Bonfire Brewing Co. benefited from a large outdoor seating area at the end of Second Street, Eagle Town Manager Brandy Reitter said.

Red Canyon Café and Brush Creek Saloon also received permission to set up outdoor tables on the sidewalks in front of their businesses.

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This special allowance was continued through the end of September.

The move was made possible by Colorado Senate Bill 20-082, passed last year to allow municipalities to authorize communal outdoor dining areas. The town of Eagle did not have a local authorization process for outdoor festivals and dining spaces and, thus, had to rely on the state statute, according to a staff memo included in the agenda of last week’s meeting.

For this reason, the Town Council decided to implement a local permitting process to facilitate more of these kinds of opportunities moving forward, according to the memo.

Through the new permitting process, businesses can apply to maintain or establish sidewalk patios through “encroachment requests,” Reitter said.

Bonfire Brewing, on the other hand, had to part with its large, grassy seating area as Second Street was reopened.

The sun sets on Bonfire Brewing's new patio. The brewery expanded its outside seating capacity by closing part of 2nd Street in Eagle, an agreement that ended at the end of September.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

“We are sad to announce that today is the last day to enjoy a beer on our temporary Second Street patio extension,” the brewery said in a social media post Sept. 26. “We’re grateful to have been part of the ‘Be Our Guest’ program during these crazy COVID times, but now it’s time for the road to reopen.”

Moving forward, the town is looking at Second Street’s long-term fate as it relates to Eagle’s Grand Avenue Corridor Plan, Reitter said. The plan will involve significant improvements to intersections, roads and paths in the broader Grand Avenue area.

“The next step for Second Street is to evaluate it with all of the intersections that are coming off of Grand Avenue to make sure that the roadway system works for everybody,” Reitter said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be open or closed; we’re still in the middle of that planning process.”

The permitting process put into effect last week also deals with outdoor festivals and other “alcohol-related scenarios,” according to the staff memo.

The new licenses impose a fee for applicants as well as a maximum number of festivals each applicant can hold.

“This process will allow options for alcohol-related events within the town and affords the town the ability to create a local application, review the festival proposals, assess the fee, and requires approval from both the state and the town,” the memo states.

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