Enterprise-friendly zoning modifications are right here to remain


If you happen to take pleasure in eating at meals halls or ordering cocktails for take-out, you’re in luck. The Metropolis of Santa Monica has formally amended native guidelines to permit these and different pandemic-era zoning modifications to remain in impact long run.

The transfer got here days after the town brought on a stir earlier this month as companies have been advised they have to start phasing in new, everlasting parklet packages (full with charges and allow necessities) or shut up their profitable out of doors areas. In response, about 70 companies selected to start the method of turning their non permanent parklets everlasting.

Parklet guidelines shifting and different zoning ordinance modifications sign a citywide push to codify zoning modifications that can permit parklets and different pandemic-era enterprise guidelines to stay in place completely. Meaning most of the non permanent modifications enacted in a rush throughout the early days of COVID-19 might be allowed to stay, together with relaxed alcohol service rules and parking necessities, the removing of per-block restaurant caps on Predominant Avenue, allowing multi-use meals halls on the Third Avenue Promenade, and extra.


The modifications are designed to “help the objectives of making a extra vibrant expertise by elevated alternatives for nightlife, leisure, and adaptability to experiment with totally different makes use of,” in keeping with data supplied by a Metropolis spokesperson.

Not the entire code modifications are as flashy as permitting cocktails on to-go menus, however metropolis employees stated they hope the modifications will help companies persevering with to rebound from the COVID downturn.

One instance is the removing of the one-year abandonment interval for a authorized, non-conforming restaurant or retail use. Say you wish to open a sushi restaurant in a storefront that was once a sushi restaurant that closed six months in the past — you would open up store there with little problem. Nonetheless, below earlier guidelines, if it had been a yr or longer, you would want to start out from scratch ticking off an extended checklist of permits earlier than you would be cleared to open, together with the potential of public hearings when you’re requesting any variances akin to parking minimums.

The brand new guidelines wipe away the one-year restrict.

“This eliminates the one-year abandonment interval presently within the code and in addition permits for a majority of these makes use of and companies to reoccupy vacant tenant areas of the identical use, irrespective of how lengthy it has been vacant for, supplied that no different use has occupied that vacant house for the reason that restaurant or the retail,” Affiliate Planner Steve Mizokami stated throughout the Tuesday, Oct. 11, Santa Monica Metropolis Council assembly. “So, basically, this eliminates the necessity for brand new land use entitlements or assembly parking necessities for what is basically the identical use because the earlier.”

On the subject of parking, one other citywide rule change will increase the “change of use parking reduction from 3 to 10 areas,” which means that in case you are leasing an area with permits for 4 parking areas however your new enterprise would want 9 to satisfy code, the Metropolis would nonetheless allow you to open for the reason that “change of use” requires fewer than 10 extra areas. Outside areas are actually additionally exempt from parking calculations for change of use.

Diminished restrictions on restaurant measurement embrace the addition of multi-tenant meals halls as a conditionally permitted use and eating places as much as 5,000 sq. toes as a by-right use. Guidelines additionally now permit meals halls to function on the Promenade, in addition to gentle business.

On the subject of alcohol rules, service hours have been expanded, now going from 8 am to 2 am citywide seven days per week; restrictions on TVs and video projectors have been lifted, in addition to the cap on alcohol gross sales making up 35% of gross income. Supply and take-out of alcohol is now completely codified citywide.

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