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Some Mill Creek restaurants add temporary outdoor dining to the menu

In an effort to provide on-site dining options for their customers during the pandemic, a number of Mill Creek restaurants have added temporary outdoor shelters in their parking lots. Most of these shelters are plastic tents with heaters set up to provide the required social distancing.
Rusty Pelican offers outdoor dining on weekends. Photo courtesy of Rusty Pelican.

By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek, January 1, 2021.

In an effort to provide on-site dining options for their customers during the pandemic, a number of Mill Creek restaurants have added temporary outdoor shelters in their parking lots.

Most of these shelters are plastic tents with heaters set up to provide the required social distancing and shelter from the elements.

A Snohomish Regional Fire Marshall recently toured these temporary facilities and alerted City of Mill Creek Public Works staff that none of the businesses had applied for the necessary permits. He also reported that a number of them need to make changes to make the structures safer.

Public Works staff and the Fire Marshall quickly produced a five page document outlining the code requirements for “temporary membrane structures and tents” within city limits.

A Public Works staff member hand-delivered the document to a number of the restaurants on Wednesday, December 23rd.

Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue is waiving their normal fee for the permits to make it less difficult for the businesses to comply.

A permit is require for all temporary tents, canopies, or air-supported structures if:

  • The structure is larger than 400 square feet and has one or more walls; OR
  • The structure is larger than 700 square feet and open on all sides (roof-only canopies); OR
  • There are a number of tents or canopies with less than 12 feet of separation between them that together have an aggregate area adding up to the above dimensions.

Click here to see more detailed information: How to use Tents and Heaters Safely.

In an effort to provide on-site dining options for their customers during the pandemic, a number of Mill Creek restaurants have added temporary outdoor shelters in their parking lots. Most of these shelters are plastic tents with heaters set up to provide the required social distancing.

Rusty Pelican offers outdoor dining on weekends. Photo courtesy of Rusty Pelican.

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