City Council Regular Meeting


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Meeting Date: 04/07/2021  

Convene a concept review for a permanent outdoor dining program. With City Council consensus, offer the City Manager general guidance for the development of a program.
In May of 2020 the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) approved urgency Ordinance No. 186 which waived Rule 24 that regulates the number of outdoor seats a restaurant can have before a water permit is required. This ordinance will expire on May 19, 2021. 
In July of 2020 the Community Economic Development Department launched a temporary outdoor dining program to include parklets and sidewalk dining. This program has been successful and outdoor dining has brought a new energy to our downtown, as well as a lifeline to our restaurants.  
At the August 5, 2020 City Council meeting the Council ratified “Dispensing of administrative use permit requirements, including noticing and appeal provisions, for Parklets on private property with property owner permission. Ministerial City review/approval through Building & Safety and Planning Department representatives.” 
On May 19, 2021 the MPWMD ordinance will expire. As we diligently work towards combating COVID-19, restricted indoor dining will slowly begin to reopen. In being proactive and to continue to support our local small businesses, it behooves the Council to take steps toward a permanent outdoor dining program. 
Potential discussion topics:
  • Does the City want to move forward with a permanent outdoor dining program?
  • Will all or some of the current sidewalk dining/parklet permits be renewed by the City?
  • Will all or some of the Pacific Grove restaurants be impacted by the ending of MPWMD Ordinance No. 186?
  • Can the City offer water entitlements to restaurants for outdoor seating who will be impacted by the ending of MPWMD Ordinance No. 186?
  • Are there zoning or other amendments that need to be set in place? 
  • Will the City charge rent for City property being used for outdoor dining? 
Chapter 15.16 of our Municipal Code “Sidewalks” addresses Sidewalk Seating and Sidewalk Dining. If the Council moves forward with a permanent program, the Council may want to consider a separate outdoor dining ordinance. Currently there are two sections of PGMC 15.16.045 (d and g) that either need to be amended or enforced:
(d) Eating establishments serving alcohol shall delineate and separate the sidewalk dining area with a painted line on the sidewalk surface delineating the allowable area for the sidewalk dining establishment as defined below in subsection.
(g) Use of sound amplification on the exterior of an eating establishment is prohibited.
  1. Provide alternative direction.
  2. Take no action.
There is no financial impact in a conceptual discussion.
GOAL ALIGNMENT: Help Local Businesses Thrive: Develop a strategic plan to serve existing businesses while attracting new commerce and revitalize commercial corridors.
Att 1 Ord # 186
Att 2 PG Sidewalk License
Att 3PG Parklet Program


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