The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday took a major step toward making the COVID-19 “al fresco” outdoor dining program permanent, with a vote instructing the Department of City Planning to draft an executive order that would keep the program intact.
The program, which launched in May 2020 to help restaurants serve guests safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, streamlines requirements and approvals across multiple city departments for outdoor dining on sidewalks, parking lots and streets. The city council voted last year to have reports drawn up on the possibility of making the program permanent, while following the rules of the Disability Americans Act.
Mayor Eric Garcetti signaled his support for making the program permanent during his State of City speech last April.
“In a city whose unofficial motto is 72 and sunny, let’s make al fresco dining permanent, including nearly $ 2 million (in fiscal year 2021-22) in grants to restaurants in low-income neighborhoods to create permanent parks for outdoor dining,” he said. the mayor.
The proposal approved by a vote of 12-0 on Tuesday instructs the city planning department, the city attorney, the building and security department and the fire department to work together on a city-wide executive order to make the program permanent and generally streamlined outdoor dining. zone code. It also instructs several city departments to develop a set of proposed rules and processes for the program.
The departments for Urban Planning and Building and Security will also within 90 days report to the City Council on the development of outdoor dining, including:
– strategies for managing public parking in high demand areas;
Strategies to promote transit and other modes of transport in order to reduce parking demand;
Noise issues, including whether different rules should apply depending on whether the outdoor dining is on one side of the residential facing structure;
– serving alcohol;
Strategies to streamline the approval process, such as the Restaurant Beverage Program or the creation of standard plans or a pre-approved set of parts for outdoor dining areas; and
Enforcement of requirements and conditions, including collaboration between LADBS, BOE, the Bureau of Street Services and the Los Angeles Police Department, and includes the ability to conduct inspections and enforcement during evening and weekend hours.