Allow Local Businesses to Continue Operating in Outdoor "Parklets" - YES
While we are all pleased to see the pandemic winding down and some semblance of normalcy returning, I believe it's important for us to keep what few "good" things COVID may have brought us. To me, one of these things is clearly the new concept of outdoor dining and shopping—something residents have long asked to see more of.
Since the pandemic begin, we've allowed local businesses to expand their business operations outdoors into the public right of way. We see this primarily in Old Corte Madera Square, where some local eateries now serve customers seated in converted parking spaces.
It seems clear to me that additional outdoor seating for a health-conscious community provides a greater public benefit than one or two parking spaces, and the Council expressed unanimous agreement that these "parklets," as they're known, should be a permanent option for our local businesses. However, Town staff has informed us that they need more time to come up with a permanent set of regulations to ensure the safety and attractiveness of these parklets.
While we wait for them to do that work, I voted to extend the temporary licensing program for existing parklets, first established early in the pandemic, so that local businesses don't have to go to the expense of dismantling their existing parklets, only to rebuild them a few months later.