Morgan Hill, CA, July 7, 2020
. After a confusing and negatively impactful holiday weekend for Morgan Hill restaurants, the City of Morgan Hill received notification Tuesday morning, July 7, that outdoor dining is allowed in Morgan Hill and the rest of Santa Clara County. The County shared information that the State had granted the County's July 2 variance request. This resolved the issue with outdoor dining, allowing it to continue and also means that the additional expansion of personal services and other economic activity can begin on July 13.
Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine shared, “This is great news for our Morgan Hill restaurants and businesses. It provides the clarity that we were looking for over the weekend and were not able to get. We are extremely happy this has now been resolved. However, we are still very concerned about the way this was handled by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the economic impact it had to our already struggling restaurants over a holiday weekend.”
The City of Morgan Hill, the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Morgan Hill Downtown Association and Visit Morgan Hill have all worked closely together with Morgan Hill’s business community to offer support, resources and guidance on how to safely reopen meeting all the State and County Order requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Morgan Hill restaurants have health and safety of their employees and customers as a top priority.
“We will continue to work with State and County officials to ensure that we have a better line of communication in the future. After countless hours spent by key members of our City Leadership Team trying to resolve this issue, we are extremely thankful to have the issue resolved. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our Morgan Hill restaurant community for hanging in there during this difficult and unsettling experience. We invite and encourage the entire County to visit Morgan Hill for a wonderful al fresco dining experience at one of our many fine restaurants,” commented Morgan Hill City Manager, Christina Turner.
This unfortunate incident began Friday evening, July 3, 2020, when officers from ABC gave notice to restaurants from Gilroy to Morgan Hill that they must immediately cease all outdoor dining, despite State guidance allowing outdoor dining. No one in the City of Morgan Hill or the County was given any notice that the State would be shutting down outdoor dining in Santa Clara County. At this time, it is still not known why South County seemed to be the target of this heavy- handed enforcement.