Should Manhattan Beach Parklets Reopen? Weigh In With Your OpinionJan 15, 2021 08:26AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
An outdoor "parklet" over the weekend before the city moved to close the public eating and sitting areas.
Should Manhattan Beach reopen its outdoor dining and seating areas known as parklets? Here's a chance to weigh in with your opinion.
The Downtown Manhattan Beach Business and Professionals Association has created this short one-minute survey on the parklets for Manhattan Beach residents to express their opinions. Responses will be collected until Monday, January 18.
Jill Lamkin, executive director of the DBPA, explained: "We want to do the right thing in terms of keeping our community safe, but the DBPA feels our restaurants and residents take the protocols seriously and believe we could reopen the parklets safely. We would like to ask our residents if they feel safe and if there is anything else we could do to make it safe to reopen."
The parklets were closed on January 3, a decision later reaffirmed by the Manhattan Beach City Council on January 5.
At the time, Councilmember Steve Napolitano explained that with the parklets, the city had become "a victim of its own success," having drawn diners from all over who were drinking, eating, and lingering maskless in groups. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Manhattan Beach, plus the hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases and a regional shortage of oxygen for COVID patients added to the decision to close down the parklets, he said.
However, the closure of the parklets has deeply affected Manhattan Beach businesses, Lamkin said. "All of our downtown businesses are suffering greatly due to the closure of the public seating areas after the holidays. Since public parklets closed, overall restaurant business is down between 70-90% and retailers are down between 20-80%, which is obviously unsustainable," she said.
If the data from the survey shows support for the return of the parklets, DBPA will bring the survey to City Council, she said.
As always, residents can express opinions about city issues to the City Council directly by emailing email@example.com. (This email address copies everyone on City Council as well as the City Manager.)