CARMEL – The Carmel City Council has once again approved a 30-day extension for restaurant parklets and private wine tasting spaces with rental fees for parking spaces due this week.
All existing temporary parklets are allowed to remain until close of business Nov. 12 but will have to pay the monthly rental fee of $842 per single parking space no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday. Fees not received on time may cause the city to remove a parklet and other materials in the public right-of-way at the business owner’s expense. Restaurants that remove parklets before Tuesday, need not pay the fee.
Restaurants and wine tasting shops are not allowed to reconstruct parklets in the public right-of-way.
Unless further extended by the city council, all restaurant parklets and private outdoor wine tasting spaces must be removed before close of business on Nov. 12.
Last month, the council approved a similar extension.
In May, the Carmel City Council approved a plan for the phased removal of all temporary parklets in the public right of way once the city returned to “business as usual,” meaning that 100% indoor occupancy was allowed and was not prevented due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to city documents.
The California economy was reopened on June 15 when most COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
Carmel set a mandatory parklet removal date of July 14 for wine tasting shops and Sept. 12 for restaurants. All wine tasting shops have since removed their parklets, but are currently allowed to use private outdoor spaces until such time that the restaurant parklets are removed.
When first instituted as a way to help struggling restaurants and wine tasting venues in the city, the parklet program allowed about 60 businesses a temporary permit granted by the city to help provide some level of economic stability during the most restrictive period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as the pandemic continues, some welcome the option of outdoor seating while they dine or imbibe which enables them to stay out of enclosed spaces, add to the economic recovery, and boost the character of the city.
Others view the parklets as creating parking and traffic issues, along with other safety concerns, while providing an inappropriate use of public space, and not in standing with the city’s aesthetics.
The city of Carmel is considering adopting a policy regarding parklets.
In a previous report, Mayor Dave Potter said he personally wants to see the parklets continue but with changes to how they are implemented including possibly requiring the space be attached to the building and the sidewalk area flowing around them much like what the city of Monterey has done in its downtown area.
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