KENNEBUNK – The town will demonstrate flexibility and leeway with some ordinances in an effort to help businesses thrive as they cope with difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dan King photo

There will be flexibility with signs, outside seating for restaurants, parking and the use of outside spaces like Waterhouse Center and Tibbetts Plaza.

That was the decision of the Select Board at its May 26 session, following a recommendation of the Business Work Group of the Community Reengagement Task Force and of the Select Board’s Ordinance Review Subcommittee.

Select Board member Chris Cluff said businesses would contact Community Development Director Chris Osterrieder, and submit a letter, outlining what the establishment wished to do and that either Osterrieder or Town Manager Mike Pardue would get back to the business within a day or two.

“We’ll try to stay within our ordinances the best we can,” said Cluff. He said Pardue and Osterrieder have demonstrated they’re conservative in their decision-making and that the board can trust them to make prudent decisions.

Right now, sandwich board signs are limited to 30 days twice a year, but it is an area where the town could be more flexible, said Cluff. He said some restaurants might want to put tables and chairs on the sidewalk, or a retailer might want to host a sidewalk sale – which could happen with proper measures for social distancing.

“We really need to do whatever we can to stimulate traffic in these business,” said Select Board member Ed Karytko.

“Anything that’s not clear cut would come before the (Select) board,” said Pardue.

The town of Kennebunk approved a procedure that would allow for ordinance flexibility in an effort to assist businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Dan King photo

Select board member Wayne Berry suggested the new rules apply to retail and hospitality businesses in the three village areas.

He said the motion Select Board members were to vote on, that allows Pardue or his designee the authority to provide six temporary victualer’s licenses per businesses for the remainder of 2020, addresses only restaurants and other businesses selling food.

Select Board Chair Blake Baldwin said the other uses are subject to variance or waivers that could be granted by the code enforcement officer.

Pardue is to provide monthly updates to the Select Board on the program.

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