Carpinteria eyes permanent Parklet permit program for downtown businesses | Local News

Temporary parklets that were introduced with the COVID-19 pandemic for outdoor dining and social distancing may remain in Carpinteria as the city works to develop a permanent parklet permit program.

Currently, the program that allows businesses to have temporary parklets is set to end on December 31, but the permit program would allow eligible businesses in the downtown “T” business district to retain or add permanent parklets. .

“I think we have kind of a rare distinction from the Santa Barbara boardwalk where our streets are still open,” said Justin Fitzgerald, manager of Little Dom’s Seafood, which has a parklet on Linden Avenue. “We have this kind of distinct opportunity to be able to add these parklets without encroaching on traffic and slowing down the city or having to make a lot of changes or get up to code or something like that by allowing that a lot of other places are doing with the blocking of the whole street.

The permit would initially be for three years and would require the park to be open to the public after hours.

Other terms of the program would include companies required to maintain a certificate of insurance that meets certain specifications, no advertising on or in the parklet in addition to the company name or logo – which could be for a maximum of 20 square feet – and parklets would need to be removable at least 24 hours prior to a city-sponsored event, such as the annual California Avocado Festival held in Carpinteria, with at least two weeks notice of the part of the city.

A parklet for one business can occupy a maximum of two on-street parking spaces, while two adjacent businesses can combine and share a single parklet that occupies up to four parking spaces.

“I can tell almost everyone who comes — especially in the summer when the weather is nice — they prefer to sit on that parklet patio, so for business, it’s great,” Fitzgerald said. “As we come out of COVID, I think the more people we can bring to this town and the businesses to thrive, it’s just going to make this town a little cooler, a little better and have more people coming here, so the more seats we can add, the better.

In order to qualify for a parklet permit, the business should be a restaurant or other food service establishment in the downtown “T” zone, located on a street with a 25 mph speed limit or less, and located on the first floor with a public sidewalk and adjacent on-street parking.

Businesses would also be required to notify adjacent businesses of their intention to remove on-street parking and install parklet before submitting an application.

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A family eats ice cream in the shared parklet for Tacos Don Roge and Oaxaca Fresh at Carpinteria. (Photo by Serena Guentz/Noozhawk)

With the program, companies could either choose a pre-engineered, city-approved design from Archatrak or Modstreet, or create a custom design that would need to be approved by the city and follow certain design requirements that can be found in the staff report. of the item, as being ADA compliant and in a style that matches the “small town beach style of downtown Carpinteria”.

Amenities permitted in parklets include seating, landscaping, bicycle parking, outdoor heaters, and self-contained low-voltage lighting, such as solar-powered or battery-powered lighting.

The proposed parklet permit scheme received preliminary review by the architectural review committee on Thursday evening and is now due for submission to the Carpinteria Planning Commission, followed by review and adoption by the City Council of Carpinteria.

More information on the program and specific details on eligibility and design requirements can be found in the Draft Downtown “T” Parklet Permit Program in the Architectural Review Staff Report Board.

– Noozhawk editor Serena Guentz can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

David H. Henry