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South Coast City Looking At Modifications For Outdoor Dining Program

(KCLU photo)
The City of Santa Barbara is looking at changes in its pandemic-inspired outdoor dining program.

Biggest change could mean some restaurants, bars will lose sidewalk tables, but street parklets can remain

A South Coast city which was one of the first in the region to allow expanded outdoor dining during the pandemic is looking at tightening some of the rules.

The City of Santa Barbara is allowing expanded outdoor dining into 2022. But, the city is looking at proposals to improve pedestrian access, and aesthetics.

One of the biggest proposals has to do with tables on sidewalks. Bars and restaurants would no longer be able to put them on city sidewalks unless they were already permitted there before the pandemic.

No additional parklets would be allowed on city streets at this time. And, existing temporary outdoor seating areas can no longer have roofs, canopies, or tents. They can have umbrellas. The proposal also bans plastic patio chairs, and requires the outdoor dining patios to be painted with city-approved colors.

The City Council is set to look at the proposals Tuesday

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.