The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday to change the city’s municipal code, which will remove language that allowed community groups’ input to be a deciding factor in whether a business could be given a permit to build a permanent parklet.
The current Long Beach ordinance allows community groups to essentially veto applications. The changes would make their input just one factor the City Council could weigh.
A 2018 city ordinance says that permanent parklets built in Long Beach need community group consent before a business can apply to construct one, but the City Council could vote Tuesday to amend that ordinance to merely make community input part of the process.
The city says it has 19 applications for permanent parklets and those businesses will now be able to keep their temporary structures up until January 2023.
The program had been extended multiple times and was set to end June 30, but some business operators hoping to make their additions permanent could have until the end of September to operate temporary parklets as their applications are processed.
At one point there were 130 temporary parklets in Long Beach but so far just 25 have shown interest in making their outdoor dining areas permanent as the June 30 deadline for the temporary program approaches.
A city official said that just 10 of the 30 businesses currently operating a parklet on Second Street in Belmont Shore have indicated they might pursue a permanent structure.
California moved Friday to extend the sale of cocktails-to-go and keep alcohol service for outdoor dining at parklets.
The extension would also extend to businesses using parking lots for outdoor dining. The council’s previous extension of the program was set to expire at the start of October.
Lola’s owners are among the first to take advantage of a city program to turn pandemic-inspired temporary parklets into permanent outdoor-dining fixtures.