Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Encourages Extension of Temporary Land Use Permits for Outdoor Seating Through 2022

April 4, 2022

Honorable Newell Arnerich
Danville Town Council
510 La Gonda Way
Danville, CA 94526

Item 9.1 – Discussion regarding the status and future of expanded outdoor restaurant seating

Dear Mayor and Town Councilmembers,

We are writing today on behalf of restaurants and retail establishments who have an ongoing stake in the future of temporary land use permits (TLUP’s, a.k.a. “parklets”) and expanded outdoor dining in Danville.

At your meeting on December 21, 2021, you requested that the Town schedule this item for further discussion on April 5, 2022, and to provide a status report and direction regarding any additional extensions of time for the TLUP’s. We appreciated the Town’s action in extending parklets temporarily in both July and December 2021, and your adoption of an urgency ordinance extending the TLUPs through June 30, 2022.

So, the question before us now is how to transition between temporary spaces where our residents love to congregate and permanent solutions.

We’ve taken the time to contact Chamber members and non-members on this issue. The consensus we’ve received from the downtown business community and residents is clear and undeniable.

Without hesitation, the Chamber recommends that the TLUP’s be extended through January 3, 2023, to allow for a reasonable and predictable transition for our businesses.

We also request that you place an agenda item at a future Town Council meeting to vote on such an extension. With the preliminary findings of SWA on the Downtown Master Plan expected on April 26 and 27, 2022, and a potential Town Council vote on the plan on May 17, we respectfully request that you and Town staff work with us on a plan in summer and fall months to transition between the temporary options we have now and permanent solutions.

We feel strongly that providing continuity for our community is important to avoid confusion as you evaluate proposed changes to the Downtown Master Plan. Giving the public a pathway to continuing to congregate in public spaces reinforces our sense of belonging and community pride and helps stimulate our “shop local” brand and living and dining locally.

We know that some businesses with parklets have already requested permits to expand, while others have not. No matter what business model is in place, the overwhelming sentiment we hear is that businesses want predictability and the ability to plan, knowing what the playing field looks like.

The Chamber also wants to reiterate its position that future outdoor spaces have more conformity and a uniform design standard that honors the Town’s vision, its historic downtown and distinctive brand. We stand ready to work with you on a policy that provides predictability and conformity for businesses who meet future eligibility requirements under an approved Downtown Master Plan.

Our viewpoint is that the process of dismantling temporary outdoor land use permits coincides with an orderly transition from temporary to permanent, within the guidelines of a future Downtown Master Plan. We stand ready to work with you and Town staff to accomplish goals that will help both downtown businesses and the Town to thrive in this transition.

Best wishes,

Judy B. Lloyd
President & CEO

Brittany Riley
Chair, Economic Development Committee

Steve Glaski
Member, Economic Development Committee

Glenn Bittner
Board Chair

Tim Argenti
Member, Economic Development Committee