Loading...
12. Temporary Outdoor Dining ProgramFile #: 3363 Claremont City Council Agenda Report TO: TARA SCHULTZ, CITY MANAGER FROM: CHRISTOPHER M. PAULSON, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER DATE: JUNE 9, 2020 SUBJECT: Item No: 12. Reviewed by: City Manager: TS Finance Director: AP APPROVAL OF A TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING PROGRAM FOR FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS AND CONSIDERATION OF STREET CLOSURE OPTIONS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 REOPENING PLANS (FUNDING SOURCE: GENERAL FUND) SUMMARY In a revised Health Order (Order) issued by Los Angeles County on May 29, 2020, restaurant establishments are now permitted to resume on-site dining at sixty percent of maximum occupancy. In anticipation of this Order, staff has been researching potential options to allow and/or increase outdoor dining options for food establishments that have a desire to expand seating outside of their existing interior footprint. The options staff researched include various configurations of street closures in a sample area of the Village where sidewalk space may be limited, and a streamlined permitting process for when outdoor dining could be accommodated. RECOMMENDATION Staff recommends that the City Council review the options presented and: A. Approve the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program to allow and/or increase outdoor dining, and direct staff to assist businesses on an individual basis to accommodate their outdoor dining needs; and B. Direct staff to waive fees for associated permits related to the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program. CLAREMONT Page 1 of 5 Printed on 6/4/2020 ALTERNATIVES TO RECOMMENDATION In addition to the recommendation, there are the following alternatives: A. Direct staff to move forward with one of the presented street closure options; and B. Appropriate a specific amount from the Operating and Environmental Emergency Reserve to implement the street closures. FINANCIAL REVIEW For the streamlined permitting option, a modified version of the Special Outdoor Use Permit (SOUP) would be used. This would also include an associated Engineering Division encroachment permit that is required to conduct activity in the public right of way. Those fees are currently $256.00 and $134.22, respectively. If this option is utilized, staff recommends waiving those fees for this temporary permitting process. Implementation of the street closure options explored range in cost over a three-month period from $30,891.80 to $88,802.52. It is important to note that the costs are based on quotes and estimates and represent the minimum amount each option may cost. No funding source to implement these options has been identified at this time, and funding would need to be appropriated from the Operating and Environmental Emergency Reserve. The staff cost to prepare this report and research the options presented is estimated at $8,194, and is included in the operating budgets of the Administrative Services, Community Services, Human Services, Community Development, and Police Departments. ANALYSIS In a revised Health Order issued by Los Angeles County on May 29, 2020, restaurant establishments are now permitted to resume on-site dining at sixty percent of maximum occupancy. In anticipation of this Order, staff has researched options to allow and/or increase outdoor dining options for food establishments that have a desire to expand seating outside of the existing interior footprint. Street Closures Staff has researched various configurations of street closures in a sample area of the Village where sidewalk space may be limited, and a streamlined permitting process for businesses to apply to have outdoor seating could be accommodated. Yale Avenue in the Village was chosen as a sample area to explore closing streets in order to accommodate outdoor dining. The options are based on a program spanning the months of June, July, and August of the current year. The following street configurations were evaluated: Option 1 - The first option evaluated was a full closure of Yale Avenue from First Street to Bonita Avenue, with Second Street closed from the City Hall alleyway to the east to the Wells Fargo alleyway to the west. This option was explored as a once weekly closure on a Friday or Saturday evening. Option 2 - The next option evaluated was a full closure of Yale Avenue from First Street to Bonita Avenue, with Second Street remaining open. This option was explored as a once weekly closure on a CLAREMONT Page 2 of 5 Printed on 6/4/2020 Friday or Saturday evening. Option 3 - The last option evaluated was a partial closure of Yale Avenue from First Street to Bonita Avenue, with Second Street remaining open. In this option, the southbound lane would be closed while the northbound lane would remain open to one-way traffic. This option was explored as a semi- permanent closure to be implemented 24/7 until outdoor dining is no longer needed. The chart below shows monthly costs for the implementation of each option. The total cost for each option includes fees to develop traffic control plans, staff costs to implement and monitor the closures, fees for traffic control equipment staging and rental, and in some cases, costs to purchase equipment that is not able to be rented. It is important to note that the costs above are based on quotes and estimates, and represent the minimum amount each option may cost. Although closing streets will increase outdoor dining area, it does present some challenges as well. If streets are closed, it eliminates parking for patrons visiting non -restaurant retail and service businesses in that area. Staff has recently circulated a survey to businesses along Yale Avenue to gauge their interest in street closures and their individual needs moving forward. The survey was sent to non -restaurant establishments as well since the street closures will have different impacts on those businesses. The results of staff's outreach efforts will be shared during the presentation of this item at the June 9 City Council meeting. Street closures may also impact businesses that have transitioned to curbside pick-up service and wish to continue to do so during the time of reduced on-site dining. The elimination of parking outside of restaurants would impact their ability to successfully continue that model of service. Lastly, there are concerns regarding crowd control and complying with social distancing measures as patrons congregate in open street segments and on sidewalks while seated or waiting to be seated. Solutions to these issues need to be studied further. Streamlined Outdoor Dining Permit Due to the cost prohibitive nature of the options above, the lack of a funding source, and the options not being inclusive of restaurant businesses outside of the sample area, staff explored a streamlined permitting option described below. The City's Municipal Code already allows the Community Development Department Planning Division to process Special Outdoor Use Permit (SOUP) applications for incidental outdoor uses related to existing businesses in commercial districts. The types of uses are limited to incidental uses for restaurants or other uses connected to and operated in conjunction with permanent commercial uses located inside adjacent buildings, provided that such uses complement existing storefronts and CLAREMONT Page 3 of 5 Printed on 6/4/2020 Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Full closure on Yale from First to Full closure on Yale from First to Southbound Yale closure from Bonita; Second Closed to Bonita; Leave Second open. First to Bonita; Leave Second alleyways. Implemented once Implemented once weekly open. Implemented semi- weekly (assumes Friday or (assumes Friday or Saturday). permanently (every day until Saturday). outdoor dining is no longer needed) Month 1 $28,516.84 $30,100.84 $14,733.40 Month 2 $27,391.84 $29,350.84 $7,100.00 Month 3 $27,391.84 $29,350.84 $9,058.40 3 Month Total 1$83,300.52 1$88,802.52 1$30,891.80 It is important to note that the costs above are based on quotes and estimates, and represent the minimum amount each option may cost. Although closing streets will increase outdoor dining area, it does present some challenges as well. If streets are closed, it eliminates parking for patrons visiting non -restaurant retail and service businesses in that area. Staff has recently circulated a survey to businesses along Yale Avenue to gauge their interest in street closures and their individual needs moving forward. The survey was sent to non -restaurant establishments as well since the street closures will have different impacts on those businesses. The results of staff's outreach efforts will be shared during the presentation of this item at the June 9 City Council meeting. Street closures may also impact businesses that have transitioned to curbside pick-up service and wish to continue to do so during the time of reduced on-site dining. The elimination of parking outside of restaurants would impact their ability to successfully continue that model of service. Lastly, there are concerns regarding crowd control and complying with social distancing measures as patrons congregate in open street segments and on sidewalks while seated or waiting to be seated. Solutions to these issues need to be studied further. Streamlined Outdoor Dining Permit Due to the cost prohibitive nature of the options above, the lack of a funding source, and the options not being inclusive of restaurant businesses outside of the sample area, staff explored a streamlined permitting option described below. The City's Municipal Code already allows the Community Development Department Planning Division to process Special Outdoor Use Permit (SOUP) applications for incidental outdoor uses related to existing businesses in commercial districts. The types of uses are limited to incidental uses for restaurants or other uses connected to and operated in conjunction with permanent commercial uses located inside adjacent buildings, provided that such uses complement existing storefronts and CLAREMONT Page 3 of 5 Printed on 6/4/2020 do not require the construction of new doorways or other significant exterior changes. Proposed uses must be compatible with and have no adverse effect on surrounding development. SOUP permits issued by Planning staff currently allow a single row of chairs and tables for outdoor dining activity. Larger amounts of seating typically require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to be approved by the Planning Commission. Once a SOUP is approved, applicants must then obtain an encroachment permit from the Engineering Division. During this proposed June through August period, staff recommends that the City Council approve a temporary outdoor dining program called Claremont Al Fresco 2020, which will be modeled on the City's existing SOUP requirements to allow for outdoor dining. Like the SOUP, the temporary program would require a business to obtain an encroachment permit for outdoor dining, but unlike the existing permit, the temporary program would not require a CUP. Additionally, staff recommends that the City Council waive permit fees for the temporary Claremont Al Fresco 2020 program, which are currently $256.00 fee for the SOUP and $134.22 fee for the encroachment permit. The temporary program will require businesses to present a plan to the City and for staff to work with each business on outdoor dining solutions that work best for the individual business's needs within the parameters of the outdoor space available to them. The terms and requirements of the proposed Claremont Al Fresco 2020 program for outdoor dining are set forth in the Attachment to this staff report. They are very similar to Chapter 16.330 "Special Outdoor Use Permits" and Chapter 16.090 "Incidental Outdoor Uses" of Claremont's Municipal Code, but if adopted, they would streamline the process for obtaining City approvals to allow permits to be approved at a staff level. Unlike a SOUP, the temporary Claremont Al Fresco 2020 program would also allow for additional rows of chairs and tables and shorter noticing periods, it would eliminate Planning Commission review, it would waive street frontage maximum width, and it would not require a CUP process. Again, the term of the temporary Claremont Al Fresco 2020 program would be limited to the months of June through August, 2020. Staff believes that a temporary program allowing for outdoor dining is the best approach at this time as it offers an option to restaurant establishments Citywide, is more cost-effective than closing streets, and allows the businesses to prepare and a present a plan that works best for their individual needs. Additionally, this option would not exclude access or parking to other retail and service establishments in the Village and beyond. RELATIONSHIP TO CITY PLANNING DOCUMENTS Staff has evaluated the agenda item in relationship to the City's strategic and visioning documents and finds the following: Council Priorities - This item addresses the Council Priority "Increase Livability in our Neighborhoods and Expand Opportunities for our Businesses." Sustainability Plan - This item complies with the Sustainability Plan's Housing and Economic Sustainability Goal 6.4: "maintain a strong diversified economy." General Plan - This item addresses Measure 1-22 of the General Plan relating to business attraction and retention, and Goal 3-1 of the Economic Development Element relating to maintaining a strong, diversified economic base. CLAREMONT Page 4 of 5 Printed on 6/4/2020 2019-20 Budget - This item meets City Manager's Office Work Plan Goal CP -1: Implement applicable items on the City Council Priority List. CEQA REVIEW This item is not subject to environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 16061(b)(3), CEQA does not apply to this item because there is no potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. It can be seen with certainty that reviewing outdoor dining options for food establishments as it relates to COVID-19 reopening plans as outlined in this report will not have a significant effect on the environment because the action will not result in or lead to a significant physical change in Claremont. PUBLIC NOTICE PROCESS Due to the current health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, parts of the City's regular agenda distribution process have been suspended as public review copies cannot be places at their regular locations due to facility closures, or limited access. The agenda and this staff report are available on the City's website. If you desire a copy, please contact the City Clerk's Office. Submitted by: Prepared by: Christopher M. Paulson Jamie Earl Assistant City Manager Assistant to the City Manager Attachment: Claremont Al Fresco 2020 - Program Regulations CLAREMONT Page 5 of 5 Printed on 6/4/2020 PROCESS SUMMARY • Restaurant owner fills out a Temporary Outdoor Dining and Encroachment Permit and submits to the Commu- nity Development Depart- ment • PAY NO FEE • Staff reviews application and makes a decision • Owner posts a notice on the exterior of your business for three days • Once approved, restaurant may expand dining area into exterior space following permit requirements until August 31, 2020 REQUIREMENTS HIGHLIGHTS • Property fronts a public right-of-way or outdoor space. • Outdoor dining area does not block pedestrian or vehicle access, or create health and safety issue. • Five feet pedestrian access must be maintained. • Exterior dining area does not adversely impact adjacent properties. • Proposed dining area is compatible with the character of the surrounding development. • Proposed dining area does not block views. • Fire exits and access must remain clear. Outside areas must be kept clean and safe. • Outdoor areas must be monitored by restaurant personnel. • If the proposed dining area is on private property, permission of the property owner must be obtained • Establishments licensed for alcohol sales must comply with ABC requirements and the COVID-19 relief requirements for outdoor alcohol consumption. Los Angeles County has approved reopening of dine -in services at a 60% capacity and with safety protocols: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening_Restaurants.pdf For more information, visit www.claremontca.org/claremontalfresco CLAREMONT AL FRESCO 2020 PROGRAM TO ALLOW TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING OPTIONS FOR FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS, SUBJECT TO APPROVAL OF A TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING PERMIT, IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 REOPENING HEALTH ORDERS SECTION 1 - INTENT Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related State and County health orders (such as Executive Order N-33-20), food establishments in Los Angeles County (including City of Claremont) were not permitted to allow on-site dining from March 19, 2020 until near the end of May, 2020. On May 29, 2020, Los Angeles County relaxed its health order to allow on-site dining at significantly reduced occupancy indoor levels. To allow food establishments to serve more customers in a manner that is safe and complies with the State and County health orders, this temporary program allows for outdoor dining options, subject to approval of a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit. SECTION 2 - TERM OF PROGRAM The term of this program is from June 10, 2020 to August 31, 2020. SECTION 3 - PERMITTED USES WITH A TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING PERMIT Notwithstanding Chapters 16.090 and 16.330 of the Claremont Municipal Code, during the term of this program, outdoor dining in conjunction with a food establishment may be permitted in all commercial districts subject to the requirements of this program. SECTION 4 - ADMINISTRATION A. Compliance Required No person shall cause or permit any use contrary to or in violation of any provision of this program. B. Permit Applications Applications for a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit shall be made on forms provided by the Department of Community Development. The forms shall be submitted together with any applicable fees and shall be accompanied by plans, exhibits and other material as required by the Director of Community Development. C. Fees Required Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit and related fees shall be waived and not apply to this program. D. Application Screening Upon receipt of an application for a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit, staff shall review the application and inform the applicant as to the completeness of the application submittal and of additional materials required, if any. E. Notice Requirements When an application for a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit is deemed complete, the subject property shall be posted with a notice of a request for permit. The property shall be posted for a minimum of 3 calendar days prior to any decision on the application. F. Review and Decision All applications are subject to approval by staff. Staff shall act expeditiously on all applications. In reviewing an application, staff shall consider the required findings of this program, and shall accordingly approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny the application. A copy of all conditions of approval shall be mailed to the applicant. G. Periods of Time When Permit Is Void A Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit is an interruptible and terminable permit granted by the City. Staff may void a permit on certain dates to prevent conflicts with community events, filming, street or sidewalk repairs, utility repairs, street closures, other special events, or an excessive amount of outdoor uses in very close proximity to each other at the same time. To the extent possible, the City shall provide prior written notice to the permit holder of any time period during which the permit will be void. SECTION 5 - REQUIRED FINDINGS Staff, before granting a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit, shall make the following findings: A. The proposed outdoor dining use is conducted by a food establishment located in the building which fronts on the public right-of-way or property where the use is to be located, and the use is in compliance with this program and other City codes; and B. The proposed use will not adversely affect pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or the public health, safety, or general welfare; and C. The proposed use will not have an adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof; and D. The proposed use is compatible with the quality and character of surrounding development and will visually enhance the appearance of the community; and E. The proposed use will not block views, including the view of any display window, or conflict with the City streetscape in the vicinity. SECTION 6 - GENERAL STANDARDS FOR OUTDOOR DINING All outdoor uses permitted by this program shall be subject to the following standards: A. A minimum two -foot clear space shall be maintained from the edge of the street curb or parking area. B. A minimum five-foot wide continuous path, not including the required two - foot clear space from street curb or parking area, shall be maintained for pedestrian traffic. Such path shall have a vertical clearance of not less than eight feet above the surface of the path. For a sidewalk sale, the width of the path may be reduced to four feet with the approval of staff. C. All outdoor use areas shall be continuously supervised by management or employees of the business to which they are connected to ensure required pathways are kept clear. D. All outside use areas shall be maintained in a clean and safe manner. E. All items placed outside shall be maintained in good repair, and no item may be hazardous to pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or extend into the safe line - of -sight distances at intersections, as determined by the City Engineer. F. All entrances and emergency exits shall be kept clear. G. No item placed outside shall have a vertical height of more than six feet above the surface of the sidewalk, except as specifically approved by staff. H. All items placed outside shall be removed each evening, unless otherwise approved by staff. I. All signing must comply with Title 18 of this Code. J. If an outdoor use is to be located on private property, the business owner shall obtain prior authorization from the owner or management company of such property. K. If an outdoor use is to be located within the public right-of-way, the business owner shall first obtain an encroachment permit from the City Engineer, and provide the City with a certificate of insurance of general commercial liability insurance for an amount as required by the Director, naming the City as an additional insured. Such insurance shall be placed with a company satisfactory to the Director. L. No services shall be provided outdoors in conjunction with any outdoor use, except for table service of food in conjunction with approved outdoor seating. M. No outdoor storage other than chairs and tables shall be permitted in conjunction with any outdoor use. SECTION 7 - ADDITIONAL STANDARDS FOR OUTDOOR SEATING All outdoor seating shall be subject to the above general standards and the following additional standards: A. Outdoor seating may be permitted in connection with a permitted business or in a common area of a shopping center or pedestrian arcade subject to the standards of this section. All outdoor seating shall require a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit approved pursuant to this program. Outdoor seating may include tables if provided in connection with a retail food or restaurant business. B. With a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit, a business may have tables parallel to the building frontage, and seating area may not be separated from the public right-of-way or pedestrian walkway by a fence, wall or other structure, except if seating is located in a common open area of a shopping center or pedestrian mall. C. All tables and chairs shall be of sturdy construction, made of good quality materials, and designed to complement the character of the streetscape. D. No parking shall be required for outdoor seating authorized by this program. SECTION 8 - CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL Conditions of approval may be imposed on any Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit to ensure that the proposed use will be in accord with the required standards and findings of this program, and to ensure the protection of the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community. The permit shall not become effective until all applicable conditions of approval for the permit have been met. All conditions of approval shall be observed throughout the duration of the permit. SECTION 9 - EXPIRATION OF PERMIT The term of any Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit granted shall not extend beyond the term of this program. SECTION 10 - PERMIT TRANSFERABLE A Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit is transferable to new owners of the business for which the permit was granted. SECTION 11 - MODIFICATION AND ENFORCEMENT A. Modification of Approved Plans or Use The Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit shall be granted solely for the purpose specified in the permit. Any changes or revisions to the approved use shall be subject to approval by staff. B. Revocability of Permit A Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit may be revoked by the Director of Community Development before it expires after two written notices of violation of any applicable standard of the City's Municipal Code (including its Zoning Code), this program, or a condition of approval, or if the use becomes nonconforming. Notice of such revocation shall be in writing and shall specify the cause for revocation. The Director's decision may be appealed to the Planning Commission pursuant to Chapter 16.321. C. Enforcement All violations of this program are punishable as provided in Chapter 16.406 of the Claremont Municipal Code, Violations and Enforcement. The Director, the Director's designees, and the code enforcement officers of the Community Development Department are each authorized to enforce the provisions of this program.