Inside Out policy helps businesses meet physical distancing requirements

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department

Inside Out: Taking Washington County businesses outsideInside Out, a new temporary land use policy, will allow some restaurants, bars, personal services, retail and recreational facilities in unincorporated Washington County to conduct business activities in their adjacent parking lots without a permit.

Inside Out was approved by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on July 28 and is in effect for the duration of the Board-declared COVID-19 emergency. The policy complements Washington County’s Small Business Emergency Assistance (SBEA) program.

“Washington County is committed to supporting businesses during this pandemic,” said Kathryn Harrington, Chair, Washington County Board of Commissioners.  “Inside Out will allow businesses to better facilitate physical distancing requirements while providing additional business flexibility.” 

Policy requirements for the outdoor areas include:

  • Location must be adjacent to the business.
  • Hours of outdoor operation are 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Ongoing compliance with all COVID-19 related directives.
  • Permission from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission if alcohol is served.
  • Location cannot reduce the number of ADA parking spaces or interfere with loading areas or pathways. ADA facilities can be relocated but must meet ADA requirements.
  • Restaurants may serve food outside, but all food must continue to be prepared and stored inside. To ensure compliance with restaurant licensing standards, please contact Environmental Health Program for changes in food service practices.


Learn more

Washington County is committed to planning and protecting the uses of the land -- balancing care for the natural environment, economic development, safety and community livability. 

Media Contact:

Melissa De Lyser, Public Affairs and Communications Manager