Emergency Ordinance helps small businesses

Emergency Ordinance helps small businesses
Posted on 07/17/2020
COVID-19 Business News

City of Renton SealJuly 17, 2020

City of Renton Contact
Jennifer T. Henning, Acting Community & Economic Development Administrator, 425-430-7286
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 206-491-8158 (cell)

Businesses will be allowed to expand onto sidewalks and private parking lots

RENTON, WA – The City of Renton passed an emergency ordinance on Monday, July 13, making it easier for small businesses to sell goods and advertise. The ordinance is another step the city has taken to assist small business recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The ordinance takes effect immediately and will continue until King County enters into Phase 4 of the governor’s “Safe Start Plan” or December 31, 2020, whichever comes first.

“It is our goal to support our local businesses and help them with their recovery so that they can safely expand and serve more customers,” said Mayor Armondo Pavone.

The ordinance introduces two temporary measures. The first is an "Economic Recovery Revocable Right-of-Way Permit." This permit allows businesses to expand their retail area onto the sidewalk in front of their building and adjacent private parking lots. These areas can be used for sales, pick-up, and outdoor restaurant seating. Any use of these areas would require the business to maintain appropriate social distancing standards and other public health guidelines.

Currently, Phase 2 of the governor’s plan to reopen Washington state limits businesses to 50 percent of their outdoor capacity and 50 percent of their indoor capacity. Any expansion of outdoor capacity under this ordinance will not affect these percentages. King County has been in Phase 2 since June 19, 2020.

Businesses interested in exploring expansion options should contact the city’s economic development division by calling 206-503-1742 or emailing [email protected] for assistance.

The second part of the ordinance defines “Economic Recovery Signs.” Businesses can place A-frame signs, banners, or other temporary style advertising or events signs in front of their buildings. Advertisements are limited to economic recovery related events such as grand re-openings or announcements about expanded services or capacities.

Within the City Center Sign Regulation Area, each business can display one (1) sign. The sign must be placed next to the building and not encroach onto the sidewalk. Outside this area, businesses can have one street-front sign and one other sign abutting in any added space.

The city will waive any permits or fees for these signs through December 31, 2020.

A-frame signs must meet the following criteria:

  • Professionally manufactured and of durable materials.

  • No lighting or attachments, such as balloons.

  • Must not be placed where they create a hazard to pedestrians or traffic.

  • Must be no larger than 32 inches (32”) in width and 36 inches (36”) in height.

  • No landscaping may be damaged or modified to accommodate the sign. The city may require replacement of any damaged landscaping under RMC 4-4-070.

  • Must not be displayed during non-business hours.

Businesses must provide the city's Community & Economic Development Department a certificate of liability insurance and signed "hold harmless agreement.”

Event signs can be any combination of the following types of signs:

  • Balloons, pole/wall strung, and wall-hung banners not exceeding one hundred (100) square feet each in size.

  • Pole-hung banners not exceeding twenty (20) square feet each in size, flags, inflatable statues, pennants/streamers, searchlights, wind animated objects, and other similar advertising devices approved by the Development Services Division.

  • Rigid portable sign, maximum of thirty-two (32) square feet in area on one face per sign not exceeding six feet (6') in height. Rigid portable signs are limited to one per street frontage outside the Automall District.

No sign or advertising device may be placed on a roof or extend vertically above a building's fascia. Signs cannot be located within required perimeter street landscaping.

Any questions about the new ordinance or established programs can be directed to the city’s economic development staff through a direct hotline, 206-503-1742, or email, [email protected]. Help is available in multiple languages.

The City of Renton

The City of Renton, Washington, with a population of 105,500 (2020), is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, just south of Seattle. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are providing employees and their families an outstanding quality of life. Renton is the home of Boeing, PACCAR, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found on our website, news releases, or Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor pages.


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