City Council July 27 set to hold public hearings on outdoor dining in private spaces, unit lot subdivisions

Two public hearings are on the Edmonds City Council agenda for Tuesday, July 27. One focuses on a recommendation to make permanent an interim ordinance, passed in December 2020, that allows restaurants to include outdoor dining spaces on existing commercial property without a conditional use permit. The other public hearing involves an amendment to a city code govering unit lot subdivisions. Both hearings had originally been scheduled for the council’s June 22 meeting but were removed from agenda earlier in the day.

Also on the agenda is discussion of a proposal to reorganize the Edmonds Municipal Court and councilmembers’ reports on their work with outside boards as well as committee reports.

The meeting will be held in person in the council chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N., Edmonds. It will also be available virtually using the Zoom meeting platform. To join, comment, view or listen to the Edmonds City Council Meeting remotely, paste the following into a web browser using a computer or smart phone:
https://zoom.us/j/95798484261
Or join by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261
Closed captions are available using the Zoom platform.

Persons wishing to provide audience comments remotely using a computer or smart phone are instructed to raise a virtual hand to be recognized. Persons who want to comment by dial-up phone can press *9 to raise a hand. When prompted, press *6 to unmute.

In addition to Zoom, regular council meetings beginning at 7 p.m. are streamed live on the council meeting webpage, Comcast channel 21, and Ziply channel 39.

  1. Get the parking places back now. That was because of Covid and that is the only reason that ever started. It is no longer acceptable. You are ruining your retail businesses. You are preventing your citizens from parking and you are also making it more difficult for us to get to the Brackets landing area. Why? Well the more parking downtown allows room for parking closer at least to Brackets and the beach. Why are you so cruel? Why do you continue with this totally selfish behavior? Why?

  2. Have to agree with Deb. If businesses are fully open, the reasoning behind using public spaces is gone. While you’re at it, all of the emergency declarations are also null and void. Science and data, right? If not, explain why everything is opening at this particular point in history, because I’m not seeing the actions matching the numbers. Fall should be interesting.

    1. My viewpoint is slightly different. I am personally afraid to drive down the streets in fear that some little kid is going to jump out into the street behind one of the locations. The sites are incredibly dangerous for drivers. Maybe a temporary wood sidewalk extending out to the current locations would be better so the restaurants can just setup up shop on the sidewalks.

  3. Personally I love outdoor dining and WMS.
    However, it’s obviously being done paralegally. Some retailers vented to me last week about the business they’ve been losing (or not gaining). I swear the retailers here in town need a lawyer on retainer, like a union or a Downtown Aliance. They could call it Edmonds! -or something like that. To one retailer I jokingly gave the advice, “- just annex some parking spots and put your wares outside. You’d sell more stuff as people walk by.” Tragedy and Comedy are cousins. Retailer are hurting.

    #1 – a permanent walkable street is a great idea. I remember living in CO and going to Pearl Street, Boulder. It works. River Street in Savanna is like that and it’s fantastic. However, this requires real city planning and consent from the governed.

  4. Outdoor dining is still necessary as we are still working thru highly contagious COVID-19 variants and eating requires you to be maskless. It is still recommended that we all wear masks indoors, like in retail shops, especially if we are unable to establish good ventilation/ air replacement to remove virus particles from the area. Outdoor dining options are essential t the safety of the diners AND the employees of restaurants.

    That said, how much additional free space is fair for the city to donate to some businesses over others who also pay premium rates to be a part of downtown, but do not also receive benefits to help them stay open and thriving? Is there a creative solution here for the other businesses/ retailers?

    1. From The Guardian:

      “Important update: NSW health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty has clarified that of the 43 people in ICU with Covid-19, only one has had any dose of the vaccine. The remaining 42 have not been vaccinated.”

  5. Downtown looks like some third world bazaar and does nothing for the struggling retail businesses, or people who need parking closer to the CBD. The panic is ( or should be ) over, get the street shanties out of town.

  6. He is right. I agree better do all you can now, including moving those parking taking shacks. The longer you wait the less chance your business has to survive another shut down.
    And yes, the shut downs and encampment rules, etc. are going to be much more draconian. If we don’t grow up…could be lockdown. Then…wow you have major problems including educating your children, no more ball games, no more anything…ask Italy…
    Better think long and hard about this. This is your last chance to normalize.

  7. I would like to offer a different perspective on the parking/outdoor dining spaces issue. I do not mind them and they have allowed the restaurants in downtown Edmonds to stay open and viable during the (ongoing) pandemic. I live downtown and see many more pedestrians than before COVID. Many of those are younger families with children. I am also surprised at the number of people dining inside and outside at all the restaurants – they seem to be finding parking and they be willing to walk a bit to get to their destination. Lack of retail customers might be due to factors unrelated to parking: customers’ new-found love of online shopping, lack of the types of stores that would bring them downtown ( how many nail and hair salons and women’s boutique clothing stores can a small downtown support?), and the changing demographics of customers in Edmonds. People are coming downtown and they are parking! They may not be shopping at the retail businesses in high numbers but let’s not blame the dining structures for this issue. We may need them through the fall and winter.

  8. Our streets need to be streets and our fountains need to be in parks and our restaurants need to be in a building generally speaking. Otherwise, let’s do ourselves a big favor and settle this once and for all. If the powers that be want downtown to be a become a municipal park, then put it on the ballot and let the people decide. If we are going to do it, lets do it all the way and all the time and compensate the people hurt by it as part of the process. This thing needs some closure for sure.

  9. Chris Cossu, please pre-approve this post for me and just let us know if it is wrong-think.

    CDC is rolling out new mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status.
    https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1420070550630764545?s=20
    Edmonds businesses need to prepare now for being shut down this winter. This is the single biggest issue in Edmonds right now.
    Note: They never found out where the virus came from or who was responsible for it it. It could happen again.

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