City Hall: Restaurants Expand Services To Outdoors, Hate Crime Legislation Comes Before Council

City Hall: Restaurants Expand Services To Outdoors, Hate Crime Legislation Comes Before Council

Coming to your favorite restaurant’s parking lot: an expanded food service.

An executive order from Lincoln’s mayor will now allow restaurants across the city to serve food on green spaces, parking lots and sidewalks.

“We think this is a great long term amenity for downtown to have more outdoor dining options but we also think in the immediate term it’s a way for restaurants to expand capacity,” Dan Marvin, Lincoln’s Urban Development director said Thursday at the city’s daily COVID-19 update.

He added it will allow for businesses to hire back employees who’ve been laid off.

Officials say¬†they’re working with local and state leaders to expand alcohol to these areas since ordinances currently prohibit it.

“We have worked to develop out-of-the-box solutions that allow restaurants to achieve a greater capacity of customers without increasing the density of customers,” Leirion Gaylor Baird, Lincoln’s Mayor said.

Eateries must be approved through the outdoor dining application process by filling out a permit.

She added some streets may be able to close too upon an individual basis.

Gaylor Baird also announced that new hate crime legislation will come before the Lincoln city council Monday.

She said its spurred from a January incident when swastikas were painted on the South Street Temple, recently at Wilderness Park and comments towards the Asian Community due COVID-19.

“By adding this additional tool, we hope to demonstrate that hate has no home in Lincoln and that every resident belongs here and we hope it’s rarely used.”

The hate intimidation ordinance will allow prosecutors to charge people with a hate crime. The actions must have an intent to intimidate through many categories including race, color, religion, sexual identity or age.