Santa Barbara City Council calls for more study, will require future parklets to be portable
The Santa Barbara City Council Tuesday discussed the future of lower State Street, voting 4-3 to continue the outdoor dining parklets.
In that same vote, the council decided to require future parklets to be portable and called for further research about State Street.
The council primarily discussed the resumption of parades and whether businesses should change their parklets to portable facilities. The council also discussed charging a usage fee for establishing outdoor facilities such as parklets. The council did not make any decisions on existing parklets, usage fees or parades.
Council members concluded that research still needs to continue at the ad hoc and community levels.
After Tuesday’s vote, lower State Street in downtown Santa Barbara continues to remain closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians and bicyclists and for outdoor dining.
The council directed the Ad Hoc committee to continue to work on portability, parades and work with boards to have a genuine plan as well as address issues of cleanliness, stormwater and design. Councilmember Kristen Sneddon said some existing structures may need to be modified and added that businesses are responsible for cleanliness adhering to city standards and mitigation of stormwater.
Councilmember Sneddon moved that the city continue with outdoor dining, require new parklets to be portable, examine guidelines and have the Ad Hoc committee propose a plan for parades and public safety. As part of her motion, Councilmember Sneddon stressed prioritizing cleanliness, lighting and security.
The motion passed 4-3.
“There’s not really anything to vote for or against because we really didn’t go anywhere,” Mayor Randy Rowse said before the vote. “We met today, we talked about stuff, and we still kicked the can down the road. That’s kind of how we roll sometimes …
“There’s nothing in your motion that I can’t vote for, but I don’t know what it’s doing other than sending it back to the committee,” Mayor Rowse told Councilmember Sneddon.
“The next time we meet I would like to see something actionable, something we are doing,” he said. “I think we spent a whole bunch of time doing exactly what we have done before, yaking about it, and I don’t think we got anywhere.”