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Outdoor Dining Task Force Members Sought

Jan 25, 2023 10:58AM ● By Mb News Staff

The former outdoor dining at Nando Trattoria on Manhattan Ave. in Manhattan Beach. Photo via Nando Trattoria.

The city of Manhattan Beach is seeking members from the community to serve on its Long-Term Outdoor Dining Task Force, following the end of the temporary dining decks.

The Task Force will be comprised of 15 members, including representatives from the Planning Commission, Public and Parking Improvements Commission, business organizations, and community members.

The Task Force will conduct extensive community outreach and study potential program impacts in an effort to develop comprehensive, well-balanced permanent outdoor dining solutions.

To provide input on the program or express interest as a Task Force member, please email city staff at [email protected].

“The temporary program was developed in an expeditious manner for the health and safety of the community and to assist private enterprises during the pandemic,” said Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano in a statement. “We recognize the benefits of the program and have enjoyed dining al fresco. At this time, our city is currently not equipped to support the impacts the program has had on our vibrant retailers and downtown residents, as well as city infrastructure and maintenance. While the time has come to remove the temporary dining decks, it is also a time to reimagine the business districts and develop a well-orchestrated permanent outdoor dining program that enhances the community and meets the requirements set by the Coastal Commission.”

Temporary Outdoor Dining Had Been Tied to COVID-19 State of Emergency

The temporary outdoor dining program began in June 2020 as a way for businesses to remain open while the city and state were in a state of emergency and COVID-19 restrictions were in place.

The city’s emergency order authorizing the program is tied to the expiration of the California COVID-19 state of emergency, which ends on February 28, 2023. Based on this deadline, as well as the continuing challenges that resulted from the program such as impact to the residential quality of life, increased congestion and traffic, additional sanitation, and deferred street repairs and storm drain upkeep, the City Council agreed that the 26 restaurants participating in the temporary program, which occupy 57 public parking spaces, are required to remove their dining decks by March 10 (ten days following the end of the state's emergency order).

The city’s sidewalk dining and private property outdoor dining/business programs are still available for restaurants and businesses to offer outdoor dining options.

Editor's Note: If you're looking to get involved elsewhere in the city, consider applying for a position on one of Manhattan Beach's boards or commissions. To apply for the open position on the Manhattan Beach Unified School District's school board, see more information here.

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