February 11, 2021

FE Advocacy: Why Restaurants Need This Emergency Ordinance to Pass

This past year, we, the independent hospitality community, have proven our power. The power of what we can accomplish when, together, we unite to fight against the discretionary actions of our government officials that affect our restaurants. While we are getting closer to the end of this challenging pandemic, our restaurant community must continue to show our collective strength and advocate for ourselves through this recovery. This will be the first of many advocacy-related blasts that I will send where I will enlist your help with the intention to inform, activate, and track progress of legislative items impacting the hospitality community. 

Finally, there is an Emergency Ordinance being considered by LA City Council that, if passed, will be very advantageous to the restaurant community. But what I am urging you to do is to ask for the Ordinance to go one important step further:

We need this Emergency Ordinance to *include patios.* The Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, February 16 at 2PM and the Emergency Ordinance (Council File 20-0380-S1) is on the agenda.

We need you to reach out to the City Council Members on the PLUM Committee to both urge the passing of this Ordinance but also for it to be inclusive of patios.

As the Ordinance currently exists, it will temporarily suspend parking requirements for any change of use or expansion of a restaurant use and automatically renews Conditional Use Permit expirations that took place during the COVID mandatory closures.

Why this matters:

  • This would allow existing and new operators to remodel, expand and start anew in any existing building regardless of local zoning restrictions. This will further help decrease city staff time in deciphering complicated parking restrictions during the plan check process.
  • The second part of this Ordinance will automatically renew your Conditional Use Permit (City Alcohol Permit or CUP) if expired during COVID-19, and therefore, postponing costly permit and professional legal fees until after the closures have been retracted.

If you’ve ever been challenged by impossible parking requirements to open your businesses, then you know that this is big news. But we need the inclusion of patios so that this Ordinance addresses post-COVID dining culture needs.

All Al Fresco permits will eventually become null, and most restaurants will lose their temporary outdoor seating. But if this ordinance is inclusive of patios, then restaurants will be able to maintain safe outdoor seating and forgo spending $30,000 in permit and professional fees.

This ordinance has already passed the Planning Commission. Now (and finally), it is awaiting to be heard in the City Council Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee. It is expected to pass, but again, our fight is: We want this ordinance to be inclusive of patios Join us now in urging all City of LA Council Members to include patios to fully support the new future of restaurant culture. 

Please send a letter by Monday, February 15 in support of this Emergency Ordinance AND the inclusion to patios, to the following Council Members on the PLUM Committee and their respective legislative staff by emailing the list below or clicking the above link.




Photo Credit: Union Pasadena