SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council voted during the May 10 meeting to extend the Interim Zoning Ordinance and fee waivers for temporary use permits for outdoor dining, retail and fitness activities, including sidewalk dining, parklets, and the Promenade satellite dining through September 30, 2022.
The extension will help businesses to open, streamlining the zoning process, create more flexibility for re-tenanting of existing space, and allow permitted businesses to operate in private parking lots, sidewalks, and street parking spaces as part of the Santa Monica Outdoors Program.
“The Santa Monica Outdoors Program has been a critical resource to businesses in Santa Monica as they navigate operational challenges amidst the pandemic,” said Jennifer Taylor, City of Santa Monica Economic Development Manager. “We have seen tangible impacts of how the pilot has positively supported our local businesses in their economic recovery efforts, and we look forward to developing a permanent program for our businesses and residents to continue to enjoy the outdoors and have fun opportunities to buy local.”
According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, staff are currently reviewing the Outdoors Pilot Program and will bring recommendations for a permanent program back to the Santa Monica City Council this summer. The permanent program is expected to take effect October 1, 2022 and would require businesses to pay for permits to utilize outdoor public space like parking spaces based on set fees per square foot.
“Making it easier to do business in Santa Monica has been a priority for our economic recovery and reopening efforts. This Interim Zoning Ordinance shows our commitment to supporting businesses and changing to meet the needs of our business community, and we’re proud that many businesses have taken advantage of the new opportunities,” said Santa Monica Planning Manager, Jing Yeo.
The extension of the Santa Monica Outdoors pilot program and fee waiver extensions means:
-Santa Monica businesses with pre-existing outdoor dining and retail license agreements will continue to enjoy the benefits of fee waivers until September 30, 2022.
-Santa Monica businesses who would like to participate in this program need to obtain a Temporary Use Permit. The permit fees and monthly license fees to use the public right of way are waived through September 30, 2022. Apply here: https://bit.ly/399Nhbi.
-City staff will notify all participating Santa Monica businesses at least 30 days prior to October 1, 2022, when the new program is expected to launch. This notice will include information about the new permit and monthly license fees so that participating businesses have the option to keep operations as-is (as long as they are in compliance with the new regulations), opt out, or adjust the outdoor footprint to reduce monthly costs.
For more details about the program, visit santamonica.gov/temporary-use-of-outdoor-areas. For questions, contact email@example.com or dial 3-1-1.