Nevada City to extend outdoor dining, bring back parking enforcement |

Nevada City to extend outdoor dining, bring back parking enforcement

Visitors and residents will now be able to enjoy Nevada City’s outdoor dining configuration through March, but will soon have to pay for parking once again.

The Nevada City Council on Wednesday voted to extend its relaxed outdoor dining guidelines, initially set to expire in November, allowing businesses to provide expanded outdoor seating and A-frame signs.

At the meeting the council also directed staff to restart parking meter enforcement after temporarily suspending it in May, citing the need for more parking with increased traffic to the area.

Nevada City Police Chief Chad Ellis said there is no time table for the enforcement to start again, with the department needed to rehire personnel, but the city will issue warnings before full enforcement returns.

Taryn Thomas, an employee at Classic Cafe, said while it hasn’t been a problem for employees, she has noticed some customers have had difficulty securing a spot.

“It’s not that big of deal, at least that they have told me, but some are definitely having trouble,” Thomas said. “We need to get (enforcement) going again.”

Grass Valley resident Gail Hopper said she circled the downtown area a few times before parking.

“I think enforcement will help, but we need more parking in general down here,” Hopper said. “It’s great that businesses are able to use them however they can.”

Both Hopper and Thomas said they are concerned how businesses will fare during the winter, when the weather does not attract as many outside customers.

“Obviously, it’ll be a challenge during the winter months, but we’ll be setting up lights and people are really enjoying it and feeling much more comfortable sitting outside,” said Melissa Bryant, Bistro 221 owner.

Bryant said she’s glad the council extended outdoor dining, giving businesses some assurance to operate going forward.

“I’m more than pleased to know that they came up with a date, as opposed to going week by week wondering if we’re going to be allowed to do outside dining,” she said. “That makes me really happy.”

At the meeting officials said they will also be working with the Chamber of Commerce to come up with outdoor seating guidelines that will give downtown a more uniform look.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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