Restaurant Owners Plead With Pima County Supervisors To Rescind Regulations

“Our pride is to be a safe environment for our guests and our employees." Michael Elefante of Mama Louisa's

Supervisor Ally Miller urges fellow supervisors to rescind onerous regulations on small business owners.

TUCSON – On Tuesday, the Pima County Board of Supervisors, voted to send back for a revision a list of 17 additional regulations on Pima County restaurants. The highly controversial and possibly unconstitutional list was approved on a 3-2 vote by the supervisors on May 13 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of regulations was opposed by Supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy and Arizona lawmakers, who then referred it to the Attorney General’s Office for review.

“I would have preferred we rescind the current resolution today and then take the time to integrate all of the suggestions from the business community as well as staff recommendations and then come back for a vote at a later date,” Miller told the Arizona Daily Independent. “I didn’t get a second on my motion so that wasn’t meant to be.”

“I greatly appreciated Chairman Valadez agreeing to an Emergency Meeting on Thursday to allow both the supervisors and the public to see the final product before we vote,” said Miller referring to the fact that the County administration has tried to rush the process and cram rules through without meaningful input. “I encourage all the affected business owners to review this document which will be on an agenda for the 2:00 p.m. meeting on Thursday, May 21st. I am hoping we end up with a product that everyone can live with and is in full compliance with the Governor’s order, in keeping with Arizona’s constitution, and which will end any intervention from the Attorney General’s Office,” stated Miller.

The Call to the Audience portion of today’s meeting drew restaurateurs from across Pima County:


RELATED ARTICLE: Pima County Reopening Rules Modified After Increasing Criticism, AG Complaints

Miller has argued that the rules are vague, onerous, discriminatory, and invite confusion and disparate treatment.

Arizona State Rep. Bob Thorpe called the problems with the rules “glaring.”

Both Thorpe and Miller have noted that the onerous nature of some of the provisions have little or no value to the public’s health.

“The disparate treatment that results from the rules is unacceptable,” said Thorpe. “For example, while some restaurants might be able to have over 50 percent capacity because they are adjacent to a larger parking lot, those without that sort of access (generally urban) would not enjoy that privilege.”

Pima County rules adopted 5/31/2020

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS PROCLAIMED AND ORDERED. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Pima County Board of Supervisors hereby adopts the following temporary measures applicable to all restaurants and other dine-in establishments:

  1. Minimum employee. vendor, delivery service and patron health and wellness measures:
  2. Wellness/symptom checks, including temperature checks (where possible) for all restaurant personnel, vendors, contractors, third party delivery service workers, etc. as they arrive on premises and before opening of a restaurant.
  3. Cloth masks and gloves and frequent hand-washing is required for all servers and restaurant personnel. Server gloves not required if the operator can document that server hands are sanitized between servings.
  4. Any patron exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 be prohibited from entering the facility.
  5. Minimum restaurant operation measures:
  6. Physical or electronic signage posting at the restaurant entrance (and on the restaurant website) of public health advisories prohibiting individuals who are symptomatic from entering the premises.
  7. Indoor occupancy limited to 50 percent or lower.
  8. Service by take out, reservation or call ahead seating only, including text and/or telephone notification of patrons requesting restaurant in-person service, allowing restaurant patrons to physical distance until called for service.
  9. Physical distancing of 6 feet minimum between tables. Bar top seating is not allowed.
  10. Clearly marked 6-foot spacing marks along entrances, hallways, restrooms and any other location within a restaurant where ques may form or patrons may congregate.
  11. Parties no larger than 10 allowed per table.
  12. Menus must be in a format that does not promote potential virus transmission e.g. menu boards, single use menus.
  13. Elimination of self-service stations including salad bars, buffets, soda refill stations.
  14. Expansion of outdoor service areas to increase physical distancing standards
  15. Hand sanitizers available at entrances to the facility, restrooms and in employee work areas.

14.Sanitize customer areas after each sitting with EPA-registered disinfectant, including but not limited to: tables, tablecloths, chairs/booth seats, table-top condiments and condiment holders.

  1. Post documentation cleaning logs on line and available upon request at the entrance documenting cleaning of all public areas (inclusive of counter tops, door handles, waiting areas, etc.) at least every 2 to 3 hours. C. Additional measures restaurants and other dine-in establishments should also consider:
  2. Implement touchless payment methods.
  3. Restaurant personnel to have a national certification in food safety and handling, as well as specific training in the prevention of C0\/ID-19.
  4. The measures in this Section also apply to event spaces and catered functions.
  5. Compliance with the measures in this Section is to be validated during regular operator inspections. All establishments that document adherence to the minimum best practice standards in this Section will earn a Pima County Best Practice Pledge badge that can be displayed electronically or physically to provide a visible symbol of the commitment to the community’s health and well-being.

SECTION 3. The Pima County Board of Supervisors hereby adopts the following temporary measures applicable to all public/semi-public pools, gyms, fitness centers, hotels and resorts:

  1. Minimum employee, vendor, and guest health and wellness measures:
  2. Wellness/symptom and temperature checks for all personnel, vendors, contractors as they arrive on premises and before opening of a pool,
  3. Similar symptoms and temperature checks for guests are optional.
  4. Cloth masks and gloves and frequent hand-washing is required for all staff.
  5. Minimum operation measures:
  6. Physical (and website) signage posting at the pool or gym entrance of public health advisories prohibiting individuals who are symptomatic from entering the premises.
  7. Indoor occupancy limited to 50 percent or lower unless 6-foot physical distance standards can be achieved with higher occupancy.
  8. Clearly marked 6-foot spacing marks at entrances, hallways, restrooms and any other location within the gym or pool where patrons may queue or congregate.
  9. Physical distancing of 6 feet minimum between fitness equipment, deck loungers, chairs and/or tables.

SECTION 4. The Pima County Board of Supervisors hereby adopts the following temporary measures applicable to all attractions.

  1. Minimum employee. vendor, delivery service health and wellness measures:
  2. Wellness/symptom checks, including temperature checks for all attraction personnel, vendors, contractors, third party delivery service workers, etc. as they arrive on premises and before opening of an attraction. Patron wellness checks are recommended but not required.
  3. Cloth masks and frequent hand-washing is required for all staff and volunteers.
  4. Any patron exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 is prohibited from entering the facility. B. Minimum attraction operation measures:
  5. Physical and electronic signage posting at the attraction entrance of public health advisories prohibiting individuals who are symptomatic from entering the premises.
  6. Indoor occupancy limited to 50 percent or lower unless physical distance standards can be achieved with higher occupancy. Outdoor attractions are also limited in capacity by social distancing and the ability of the attraction to clearly monitor attendance in the outdoor space.
  7. Attendance by reservation or advance ticketing is strongly encouraged to control guest entry and exit to comply with physical distancing.
  8. Physical distancing of 6 feet minimum throughout the attraction.
  9. Clearly marked 6-foot spacing marks throughout the attraction, along entrances, hallways, restrooms and all exhibits. Frequently touched in door/outdoor exhibits or any exhibit that would not allow physical distancing should be closed.
  10. Hand sanitizers available at entrances to the attraction, restrooms and in employee work areas.
  11. Elimination of self-service stations including water fountains, unless touchless. Nothing prohibits the serving of bottled water.
  12. Sanitize customer areas through-out the attraction with EPA-registered disinfectant, including but not limited to: entry and exit points, and tables or chairs open to the public.
  13. Post cleaning log documents on line and at the entrance documenting cleaning of all public areas (inclusive of counter tops, door handles, waiting areas, etc,) at least every 2 to 3 hours.
  14. Additional measures attractions should also consider:
  15. Implement touchless payment methods if available.
  16. If the attraction has a restaurant component, compliance with Section 1 also required. Those provisions also apply to event spaces and catered functions.
  17. Compliance with the measures in this Section is to be validated during regular operator inspections. All establishments that document adherence to the minimum best practice standards in this Section will earn a Pima County Best Practice Pledge badge that can be displayed electronically or physically to provide a visible symbol of the commitment to the community’s health and well-being.

SECTION 5. Failure to comply with measures set forth in Sections 1, 3, or 4 of this Proclamation, except for those that are solely recommendations, subjects an establishment to civil penalties as follows:

  1. First violation: a written warning whose primary purpose is to educate the establishment in order to obtain voluntary compliance.
  2. Second violation of the same or a similar nature: a written warning whose primary purpose is to notify the establishment that future violations of the same or a similar nature as the first violation will constitute civil infractions.
  3. Third and subsequent violations of the same or a similar nature: each constitutes a civil infraction, with a penalty of $500. Civil penalties shall be enforced by issuance of a written citation issued to the establishment’s owner or operator, which shall be heard as a civil matter before a justice of the peace. Although written warnings may be issued by civilian Pima County staff, any citation alleging a civil infraction must be issued by a law enforcement officer.

SECTION 6. The temporary measures in this Proclamation remain in effect for the duration of the emergency declared in Resolution No. 2020-18 and until all restrictions are lifted by the Governor.

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