Long Beach parklet program nearing end with few businesses seeking permanent installations • Long Beach Post News
Leaders will vote on a proposal that would allow extensions for business owners hoping to make their outdoor facilities permanent, which would require investing in sustainable designs and materials and securing the spaces. But about 80% of the city’s temporary parklets could be removed with the end of the program.
Of the 130 temporary facilities set up by businesses across the city, only 25 owners have expressed interest in converting them to permanent structures, according to a memo from Public Works Director Eric Lopez.
Parklet owners who submit plans to make their facilities permanent could have until the end of September to retain their temporary spaces as long as they submit an application to the city by August 1.
Outdoor seating and dining areas have been credited with helping some restaurants through some of the worst times of the pandemic, especially when county and local health ordinances banned people from dining indoors to help slow down transmission of COVID-19.
However, others presented the temporary scheme as a public safety issue that made it difficult for people with disabilities to navigate crowded sidewalks, and as a public nuisance, which created quality of life issues for homes. neighbors because of the loud noises of the guests and removal of parking spaces.
On Tuesday, the board could approve a recommendation to let the program expire at the end of June, a deadline it set last September when it approved another extension because case rates and the test positivity rate were still relatively high. .
Data from the Long Beach Health Department shows that as of Friday, Long Beach had a daily case rate of 21.1 cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 11.9% – figures which have been slowly increasing over the past few weeks due to the emergence of new variants of the virus.
Jennifer Rice Epstein, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said that as indoor dining is currently permitted under the existing health order, the removal of some outdoor dining options is not a problem for the health service.
However, since the city is still considered in the yellow tier of the CDC’s transmission guidelines, it advises people to be cautious.
“We always urge people to take common sense action when they’ve found themselves indoors with people when they don’t know each other’s status,” Rice Epstein said.
While county health officials have recently discussed the possible return of indoor masking requirements due to high case rates, Rice Epstein said she was not aware of any similar discussion from the from Long Beach health officials. However, the city just expanded masking requirements for public transit.
The municipal council will meet on June 14 at 5 p.m. for its regular meeting. He will also convene his Charter Amendments Committee to discuss placing two measures on the November ballot that could merge the city’s water and gas utilities and revamp the city’s police complaints commission.
Belmont Shore parklets set to phase out amid low demand for permanent structures