Goleta City Council to consider allowing restaurants to spill onto sidewalks, streets
The Goleta City Council on Tuesday will consider a resolution that would allow for outdoor dining.
The resolution would suspend current zoning and development permit requirements for open-air areas and parking spaces, allowing for other uses for private property. If approved, the expanded outdoor dining and use areas would allow Goleta restaurants and other specific uses to reopen safely, while also ensuring adequate pedestrian and vehicle circulation and patron safety — all while meeting physical distancing standards, according to a staff report.
The emergency program would assist restaurants located in Goleta’s shopping centers by using open-air spaces and parking lots, though city officials noted it “would not be feasible” to close Hollister Avenue for restaurants located in Old Town.
Citing sidewalk widths, circulation and police and fire access, city officials do not recommend the use of public roadway in the Old Town area, though those restaurants can still take part in the program if they have open-air areas or a parking lot to expand into. According to a staff report, these businesses could work with a neighbor’s open-air space or parking lot.
Both Camino Real Marketplace and Calle Real Shopping Center have expressed an interest in the expansion of dining areas for restaurants, city officials said.
The proposed program would allow extension as long as it does not encroach into parking areas or affect vehicle circulation. The program could also apply to retail, fitness classes and yoga, or faith-based gatherings, according to the staff report.
The proposed program does not call for charges or fees for permits. While it is unclear how many permits will be issued under the program, the fiscal impacts “would be difficult to quantify” if the city were to elect to impose a permit review fee.
In other business, the council is expected to review staff’s recommended response to the Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury report regarding cyber attacks. The report was issued March 18, which determined multiple municipalities were ill-prepared for a cyber attack and issued several recommendations to lower the risk of threats or damage.
In its response letter, the city agreed with several of the findings from the report. The city disagreed with a finding that the city did not have an adequate understanding of what communication and electronic systems they use and what data they maintain, and further don’t understand the risks, security issues and costs associated with destruction or loss of data.
It was recommended that each entity within the county complete a full inventory of their data systems and determine the related security risks. According to the letter, the city said it has an existing inventory of its data and is “in the process” of completing an update of the inventory of data, electronic and communication systems.
“The City has yet to complete a full analysis of all the security risks. Both tasks will be completed within the next six months,” the draft letter reads.
“The City of Goleta shares the Grand Jury’s concern regarding Cyber-Attacks threatening Santa Barbara County public entities. City staff have already been working on these issues and will continue to cooperatively and proactively address many of the findings and recommendations of the Grand Jury’s report,” the letter reads.
Tuesday’s virtual meeting will begin at 4 p.m. with closed session, with the regular meeting scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed online and be streamed on Goleta Channel 19. To view the online stream, visit www.cityofgoleta.org.