The Long Beach City Council could cast the deciding votes on two more parklet projects in Belmont Shore: Aroma di Roma and Open Sesame have both applied for permits to build outdoor dining areas on their busy stretch of Second Street.

Council members must sign off on the projects because they garnered at least some opposition from residents, something that escalates the issue to the City Council under the municipal code.

Even a single signature or email opposing a parklet triggers a City Council hearing. The council’s vote is final.

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City Council members are scheduled to decide on both projects at their April 2 meeting.

Open Sesame, a popular Lebanese restaurant on Second Street, is looking to add a 250-square-foot parklet that would make room for 17 patrons and take up two parking spaces. Aroma di Roma’s owners are proposing a smaller project (98 square feet) that would only occupy one parking stall.

A rendering of the proposed parklet outside of Aroma di Roma at 4708 E. Second Street. Photo courtesy city of Long Beach

The Open Sesame project was approved by the city’s Planning Commission in October.

Parklet proposals in Belmont Shore have roiled some residents who say that the local parking situation is bad already and taking away spaces could make it worse.

Some have argued the parklets are a giveaway of public land to businesses. Businesses with parklets must pay the city annual fees and lost parking revenue. They also must post signs notifying people that the parklets are public spaces, not just spaces for customers.

Last month, the City Council held two similar hearings for Legends Sports Bar and Supply & Demand, a bar and venue on Anaheim Street. The council voted to approve both of those parklets.

Long Beach is also in the process of updating the parking layout along the busy Second Street corridor. City officials have yet to announce a final configuration, but early plans called for the removal of some metered parking spots, replacing them with short-term spaces and parking stalls for those with disabilities.

Other spots could be converted to loading zones during daytime hours, but Public Works officials don’t anticipate the changes will preclude any business from being able to apply for a parklet in the future.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.