News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City of Sisters COVID-19 Situation Report - 5/27/2020

With Memorial Day Weekend behind us and June around the corner, the City is closely monitoring Deschutes County data of COVID-19 cases and continuing to research ways to balance safety and prosperity.

Most recently, the City implemented a pilot program to learn more about the use of the right-of-way by businesses to better facilitate social distancing. This pilot program was started over Memorial Day weekend with a couple of businesses that had previously inquired and requested to potentially use some of the right-of-way. Specifically, the City is allowing businesses who request it to use two to four parking spaces, creating a temporary “parklet” adjacent to their business subject to guidelines and restrictions, as well as a waiver and release form.

This pilot program was established as a temporary policy by way of administrative order vested through the emergency declaration. The flexibility to swiftly adopt temporary policies has been crucial over the past couple of months and as we continue to transition into reopening the economy. Eventually temporary policies implemented through administrative orders will have to be adopted by the City Council to extend beyond the emergency declaration.

If we continue through Phase I and Phase II of re-opening without any setbacks, then it would appear that we could put the emergency declaration behind us. As a reminder, the state set their emergency declaration to July 6 and does not directly relate to the re-opening of the economy. The City does not have a set date for the expiration of the emergency declaration. The City’s emergency declaration has been extended in increments and will likely continue to take that approach.

If you are a business interested in the pilot program, please contact the City to learn more. The City will be evaluating this pilot program over the coming weeks. At that time, any refinements will be made as we look to potentially having these parklets available for the rest of this summer.


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