The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously passed a motion effective immediately allowing food service establishments in the Central Business District, Funk Zone and on Coast Village Road to operate between the hours of 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
This is an extension of the previous curfew of 10 p.m., as long as an earlier closing time isn’t required as a condition of the ABC liquor license or land-use permit. The establishments are subject to compliance with all operational requirements of the county public health officer.
The closing time of 10 p.m. remains in effect for other areas of the city, and the city administrator, Paul Casey, is authorized to extend this section to other areas of the city.
Many members of the public, including business owners and service industry workers, supported this change.
“People are choosing to socialize regardless,” said caller Joseph Crosby. “It (the curfew change) is a much safer alternative than closing downtown early.”
“All the owners understand the need to curb this virus,” said Bob Stout, the co-owner of Wildcat Lounge and Little Kitchen. “None of us want to make a buck at the risk of infecting anyone.”
Council member Eric Friedman pointed out that a lot of the COVID-19 transmissions are occurring in private settings, and business owners have the opportunity for more control in a controlled restaurant setting.
In addition, the council passed a motion to extend the ordinance that keeps State Street closed until December 8 with a three-month extension option.
The motion also stated the city will close the beaches for Labor Day weekend from Friday evening to Monday evening with active recreation only and signage in neighborhoods to remind visitors. This is similar to the city’s actions for the Fourth of July weekend, in order to prevent the additional spread of COVID-19.
In other news, the city council unanimously passed a motion to designate St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal Church as a city landmark.
The church, located on 502 Olive St., was founded in 1903 as one of the first African American churches in Santa Barbara. According to Nicole Hernandiz, the city architectural historian, the building met five criteria in order to receive the designation.
“We should not wait until crises or emergencies to recognize the beauty, the joy and the resilience of our communities,” said Simone Ruskamp, one of the leaders of Healing Justice Santa Barbara. “I am excited this is happening. This is overdue.”
The council also received an informational presentation regarding public review of the draft sea level rise adaptation plan. The council invites the public to provide feedback on the draft plan at www.santabarbaraca.gov/slr.