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Bemidji City Council to discuss outdoor dining, opioid settlement

At its work session Monday, proposed new rules allowing more outdoor dining by restaurants will be under discussion. Another agenda item is about a settlement the state of Minnesota came to related to the opioid epidemic.

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BEMIDJI -- Amendments to ordinances related to outdoor dining will be reviewed during tonight's Bemidji City Council work session.

Over the last two years, to accommodate restaurants having services outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic, the city expanded its set of rules for patio seating. Moving forward, proposed amendments have been drafted for the council to review and potentially approve.

Such amendments for discussion include:

  • Adding definitions for outdoor dining areas, seasonal expansion of licenses, sidewalk cafes and street cafes.
  • Adding a new section regarding the seasonal expansion of licenses and regulation of outdoor dining areas.
  • A proposed requirement of public hearings and corresponding notifications of neighboring property owners within 150 feet of a licensed establishment.
  • Rules for live entertainment oversight, handicap accessibility requirements and trash/litter pickup.

The council’s agenda also includes a discussion about a settlement the state of Minnesota is reaching with opioid manufacturers . The state is expected to receive funds from a national lawsuit filed because of the opioid crisis, but to become effective, local government units will have to sign on.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Dec. 13, at City Hall.

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