Lewiston Supports Local Business by Waiving Fees and Allowing for Expanded Outside Use

SPECIAL NOTE FOR RESTAURANTS - Operations Checklist (5/27/20) 

  • Per the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, the total number of people at any one time should be no more than 50 people per room and each party must be 6 feet apart from other parties. This also applies to outdoor seating areas UNLESS the restaurant has two (2) distinctly separate outdoor eating areas; for example, one in the back of a building and one in the front.  There also needs to be a back-up plan for outdoor seating that adheres to physical distance requirements in case of inclement weather.
  • Per Lewiston Code of Ordinances, any business holding a valid city food service establishment business license issued by the City of Lewiston is permitted to place tables, chairs, and benches on or above any city sidewalk or public way (not used for vehicular traffic) and must comply with specific conditions found in section in Section 66-36.

The City of Lewiston is committed to working with our local business community as it meets the challenges posed by the current pandemic emergency.

On May 19, 2020, the Lewiston City Council Resolve waived certain fees and policies involving the private use of public right of way and municipally owned property to allow Lewiston businesses and organizations to use these areas for social distancing while serving their customers.

The City is also prepared to work with business owners who wish to expand outside into adjacent private parking lots or open spaces while ensuring that such expansions address public safety concerns, including separation from vehicle traffic.

All permit fees normally required for such uses have been waived.

Accommodations will include:

  • Permitting commercial activities within city parks and open spaces and waiving any park use fees;
  • Waiving sidewalk and street occupancy fees;
  • Authorizing a business to occupy sidewalks near, but not adjacent to, their property with permission from the adjacent property owner;
  • Granting permission to occupy designated on-street parking spaces for outside dining and sales if approved by designated staff;
  • Being granted permission to use outdoor areas controlled by the City;
  • Allowing for expansion onto private parking areas or open spaces that a business or organization controls while ensuring such expansions will ensure public safety.

The City will do its best to accommodate all requests while recognizing the public’s right to use and travel through these areas.

According to Mayor Mark Cayer, “The current pandemic emergency places incredible burdens on our local businesses, and the restrictions on indoor dining that remain in effect further disadvantage some Lewiston businesses. The City Council and staff are committed to work closely with our business community to overcome these obstacles and allow them to return to serving our residents.”

Permits and approvals from the City and State remain necessary for expanded outside use by establishments.

With all requests, a map/site plan of the area proposed for expanded outside use must be submitted. A map may be made from the City’s GIS mapping (type in your address and use the print function on the top right of the screen). The map must show or note the size of the area being used and the preventive measures being taken to ensure the safety of customers, pedestrians, and vehicular traffic. This may include, but not be limited to: traffic cones, barricades/saw-horses, signs, fencing, jersey barriers, posts/bollards, planters, etc. Please be sure to provide any additional plans or details necessary to demonstrate how your business will safely operate outside.

  • If you are a business interested in using City owned or controlled outdoor spaces such as sidewalks and parks, you must receive approval from the City. You must include an Application to Occupy/Close Sidewalk with your request and send it to the City Clerk’s office at kjbrooks@lewistonmaine.gov or deposit it in the red drop box at Park Street entrance to City Hall. Please call 513-3124 with any questions. The City or State will contact you with any questions or approval of your request.
  • If you are a business also looking to serve alcohol outside on either public or private property, you must receive separate approval from both the City and the State by submitting a Request For Extension Of License On Premise to the City Clerk’s office at kjbrooks@lewistonmaine.gov or deposited in the red drop box at Park Street entrance to City Hall. Please call 513-3124 with any questions. The City or State will contact you with any questions or once your request is approved.
  • If you are a business not serving alcohol outside or a businesses interested in expanding their operations into adjacent privately owned property, such as parking lots and lawns, you must receive approval from the City with your request sent to Planning and Code Enforcement at dhediger@lewistonmaine.gov or deposited in the red drop box at Park Street entrance to City Hall. Please call 513-3125 with any questions. The City will contact you with any questions or approval of your request.
  • If you are interested in using a City park for your business, please complete a Park Use Application to the City Administrator’s office at jlabbe@lewistonmaine.gov or deposit it in the red drop box at the Park Street entrance to City Hall.  Please call 513-3121 with any questions.  The City will contact you with any questions or once your request is approved.
  • Per Maine DECD the total number of people any one time should be no more than 50 people per room and each party must be 6 feet apart from other parties. This also applies to outdoor seating areas. Have a back-up plan for outdoor seating that adheres to physical distance requirements in case of inclement weather.”
  • Per Lewiston Code of Ordinances, any business holding a valid city food service establishment business license issued by the City of Lewiston is permitted to place tables, chairs, and benches on or above any city sidewalk or public way (not used for vehicular traffic) and must comply with specific conditions found in section in Section 66-36.”

The state’s latest guidelines for restaurants and alcohol may be viewed at https://www.maine.gov/decd/checklists/restaurants and https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bablo/liquor-licensing