In January I wrote that the Santa Barbara City Council is allowing restaurants to continue using parklets on the street but they will no longer be free. Prices were originally to range from $3 per square foot per month to $9 depending on configuration of the parklet. Today I was at the pre-opening party for the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo that begins Wednesday at Earl Warren Showgrounds and ran into Councilmember Oscar Gutierrez who told me that today the council voted on a final price of $2 per square foot per month for parklets regardless of configuration. There will still be standards for various parklet configurations but the cost will be the same no matter which style a business uses and it is lower than anyone expected.
PARKLET PRICE SETTLED / LOWER THAN EXPECTED
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“This is a big win for downtown restaurants.” We’ll have to see. The budget shortfall that may come will be on the backs of the taxpayers and may take funding away from other important needs.
The City Council also voted to throw away $1.1mil for a 1-year pilot program to aggressively prosecute owners of “illegal” short-term vacation rentals. Without any outreach to owners before they begin, I should mention. Watch out for Big Brother Government about to snoop into what you do with your private home… Let your friends and family know to take that extra room in their home off the AirBNB platforms, lest they face thousands in penalty fees and years of legal troubles from the City Attorney.
“City staff on Tuesday presented numbers that showed the cost to maintain the promenade at about $515,000 in fiscal year 2023 and $672,976 in fiscal year 2025.
City Administrator Rebecca Bjork said the city most likely will pull from its Measure C funds now to help pay for State Street cleanup. Measure C was a ballot initiative approved by Santa Barbara voters to help pay for streets and infrastructure repairs.”
Correction John, it is a big win for the 40 State Street restaurants and bars. It is a huge loss for the rest of the city’s restaurant community, especially the non-State street downtown restaurants. Please do not intertwine the two, it is clear the City Council and the D.O. have singled them out, it is time the rest of the community does the same. This only benefits restaurants/bars on the Promenade, no one else. The consequences will be further reaching than the pandemic itself. Now that this community money is being consumed for the sake of 40 state street businesses, where does one forecast the money will come from for the final promenade vision? Police officers? Library? Fire Department? Guess it doesn’t matter, no one seems to care about them anymore. Sad day for our City
I have removed my comment “This is a big win for downtown restaurants.” The issue is clearly more complicated than I realized. Thanks for the feedback, especially before it goes to print!
Obviously, $2/sq ft is a sweet deal for the State Street restaurants and bars in the promenade. Market rate is a lot higher.
So what are they going to do for the downtown restaurants and bars that aren’t in this subsidized chosen area? Anything?
The promenade is happening. Best to start lower on the parklets. It will be a disaster if the restaurants close their parklets. $4 per ft seems like a good landing spot.
Los Gatos has uniform parklets that are safe and look great. City should build and maintain them and restaurants have a lease.
What did itcost to maintain State Street and sidewalks before the pandemic? Should that be subtracted from the cost to maintain?