On Wednesday, the Pittsfield Licensing Board ratified an extension granted earlier for "temporary extension of premises to outdoor dining" licenses until 60 days after Gov. Charlie Baker declares the state of emergency over.

According to a story reported on by iBerkshires.com, after Baker's Nov. 2 press conference, where he outlined new COVID-19 regulations in response to a drastic increase of novel coronavirus cases in the commonwealth, Board Chairman Thomas Campoli administratively extended each approval that the board had previously received. This action required the ratification from the board.

What happened here was the Gov. Baker's COVID-19 order dated Sept. 10 allowed the extension to licensees of folks who have previously received temporary outdoor service approval. So we had approved a bunch of those and under Gov. Baker's order we can extend the time they can operate outside until 60 days after he declares the state of emergency is over.

Chairman Thomas Campoli

In June, the Licensing Board voted unanimously to give Campoli the ability to independently act upon applications to expand restaurant service outdoors.

Leading up to this vote, Mayor Linda Tyer had released an order that would further expedite the outdoor dining process and allow Campoli and the Licensing Board to act on applications on their own.

City staff would review applications and comment on the use of both private and public areas and after a three-day review, the application would go to the chairman who had the ability to make the decision for the entire board.

Campoli expressed that his default is to have the entire board discuss any questions raised in the process.

This made restaurants that provide seated food prepared on-site able to expand seating to sidewalks, patios, decks, lawns, and parking lots in congruence with social distancing guidelines.

This order also allowed the Licensing Board to expand alcohol licenses premises for outdoor services in an expedited process. There is no application fee, as the order was intended to be "loose" so there was some wiggle room.

For much more on the story, please visit iBerkshires.com's website here.

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