Goleta City Council Approves Outdoor Restaurant Dining Program

Local musician Eddie EagelFeather enjoying lunch outside at Los Arroyos Goleta Mexican Restaurant & Take Out

Source: City of Goleta

At last night’s June 2, City Council meeting, Goleta City Councilmembers voted to suspend zoning and development permit requirements for open-air spaces and parking lots on private property and adopt an emergency expanded restaurant dining and other uses program. The Goleta City Council approved a resolution to help restaurants and other specified uses expand their outdoor dining and use areas to serve more customers.  With the physical distancing guidelines in effect from Public Health, restaurants are in need of additional space to serve customers now that they are allowed to reopen under Stage 2 of the State’s reopening plan and County RISE Guide.  Other specified uses that would be allowed to expand outdoors include retail sales, fitness and yoga classes, and faith-organizations.

City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “We are so pleased that some of our restaurants in Goleta will be able to expand their dining area to accommodate more customers.  We encourage you to support our local restaurants by dining there or by continuing to order #GoletaToGo.”

Many Goleta restaurants are already open for business and are welcoming diners.  A list of open restaurants can be found on the City’s website at http://cityofgoleta.org/covid19, under the section “Goleta to Go: Support Local Restaurants.”

The City’s Emergency Expanded Restaurant Dining and Other Uses Program allows for the expansion of dining and use areas temporarily to open-air spaces and parking lots on private property where certain requirements are met. Expanded outdoor dining and use areas are intended to allow Goleta restaurants and specified uses to re-open safely, ensuring safe and adequate pedestrian and vehicle circulation while simultaneously meeting physical distancing and public health standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  This Program temporarily suspends City zoning and/or land use permit provisions applicable to business premises or restaurant dining areas that are in conflict with the expanded dining or use areas allowed by this Program.

Restaurants and other uses that want to expand into adjacent, open-air spaces (Group 1 businesses) may do so without a permit, provided that they have met certain requirements, including self-certification of a COVID-19 Prevention Plan under the State Dine-In Guide and County RISE Guide.  A complete list of requirements for expansion into open-air spaces can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/ydhdb7u5

Restaurants and other uses that want to expand into private parking lots (Group 2 businesses) must meet the same set of requirements as Group 1 and, in addition, obtain a Temporary Use Area Expansion Permit from the City, which may be found on the City’s website here: https://tinyurl.com/y8y5sv9e.

City staff will check to make sure a proposed expansion into a private parking lot:

  1. Preserves adequate and safe circulation for vehicles and pedestrians;
  2. Ensures vehicular traffic onsite would not create a traffic problem (e.g., queueing) on public roads or obstruction of public sidewalks; and
  3. Is protected by a surrounding barrier approved by the Public Works Department.

Please come out and see what’s cooking in Goleta!

For more information, please contact the Planning and Environmental Review Zoning Counter at (805) 961-7543.


Written by CityofGoleta

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