County temporarily removes shoreland, liquor restrictions

Recognizing “the economic loss suffered by businesses as a result of ordered closures and restrictions” due to COVID-19, the Hubbard County Board passed a resolution June 2 to help businesses.

Calling it a “Constitution and business-friendly action,” county commissioners unanimously agreed to “temporarily suspend certain restrictions on shoreland use and alcohol sales to promote the safe and successful re-opening of bars, restaurants and places of public accommodation.”

Establishments that would normally be prohibited by Hubbard County Shoreland Management Ordinance (SMO) to utilize outdoor shoreland space on their premises may now temporarily use it for seating “to facilitate food and alcohol service, conducted consistent with federal and state orders and public health and safety guidelines.”

The board granted “temporary flexibility” to the Hubbard County Environmental Services Department (ESD) to authorize specific outdoor uses.

An establishment seeking to use its shoreland must provide an outdoor use plan to the ESD for review and approval. The plan must include a site drawing identifying the outdoor boundary areas, the table arrangement and number of seats, entrance/exit locations, the type of containment structure or barriers that will enclose the proposed service area, and staffing plan.


In the same resolution, any bar, restaurant or place of public accommodation that holds an on-sale liquor license may also temporarily utilize “existing compact and contiguous areas of their property for the purpose of allowing for the service and consumption of on-sale alcoholic beverages in accordance with state mandated guidelines.”

The license holder must provide an outdoor use plan to the Hubbard County Auditor-Treasurer for review and approval.

All other terms, restrictions, and requirements of the SMO and the Hubbard County Liquor License Ordinance remain in full force and effect.

The temporary shore land use and outdoor alcohol consumption allowed by the resolution will terminate when the public emergency declared by the governor ends or the governor permits bars, restaurants, and places of public accommodation to reopen for indoor service with full capacity, whichever occurs first. The resolution states that it will not continue past October 31, 2020.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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