The University Park City Council March 26 approved an ordinance continuing the declaration of local disaster for public health emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic and adopting amendments to the emergency order signed by Mayor Olin Lane March 23.
Lane’s amended order largely mirrors Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ order, also issued March 23, that residents shelter in place unless they’re engaged in an essential activity or working at an essential business with some local clarifications.
City Manager Robbie Corder said University Park-specific changes from Lane’s order include temporarily allowing banners no larger than 30 square feet to notify customers of the availability of delivery and carry-out products from essential retail businesses, lifting enforcement of two-hour parking restrictions in non-residential-zoned areas, stating that playground equipment, tennis courts, and basketball courts are closed to the public, and athletic practices, games, or other training with or without professional instruction may not occur within city parks until further notice.
“We had a number of businesses in the community that have placed banners outside to attract attention, especially restaurants, and, given the circumstances, we thought it was prudent to allow those banners. Those are normally disallowed under the city’s sign ordinance,” Corder said. “Our areas that normally have problems with parking do not at this moment because of the shelter in place order, so we have included lifting of enforcement of those two-hour parking restrictions for our commercial areas.”
Residents can still engage in outdoor activities provided they maintain proper social distancing requirements, such as remaining six feet apart.
Corder added that residential and commercial construction are included as an essential business in the city and county orders.
He also clarified that restaurants can offer delivery, take out, or drive-through service, but dining rooms are closed.
“A lot of (the restaurants) are going to delivery. The other thing they’re doing is they’re having basically carry-out orders where they’re asking folks to call in and order and they’ll deliver it to the curbside,” Corder said.
Corder also said the city’s dispatchers have been asking a series of questions of 911 callers to determine whether first responders need to arrive to a scene in personal protective equipment or not for the last couple of weeks.
“Right now our supplies are good. They’re not great, but they’re good,” he said.