Letter to the editor: No reason to continue streateries in Edmonds

Dear Editor:

There have been discussions on Edmonds streateries ad nauseam. They started in the early summer of 2020 with the expected end date and their demolition in 70 days. A few businesses determined the Return On Investment (ROI) justified the erecting of the structures because they had no outdoor dining of their own. Their $100 annual permit fee from the city entitled them to a structure that would take away street parking for their own patrons, the retail businesses, block street exposure for those neighboring retailers, make driving more difficult, especially at night with all the distracting lights, and potentially breaking ADA rules.

The initial 70 days turned into the entire 2020. For those restaurants who determined insufficient ROI for 70 days, the numbers began to look better and a few more erected their structures, taking more street parking space. That $100 per year extended into 2021, continuing to take away parking spaces from retail businesses, create dangerous driving conditions and potential pedestrian accidents every minute of the dark winter hours, and depriving restaurant and non-restaurant patrons of parking spaces on the street in front of businesses they want to visit. The affected portions of Main and Dayton streets have turned into shantytowns, much short of what you see in the favelas of Rio or the streets of Tijuana, but this is just the beginning.

COVID-19 is with us and will continue to be around as an endemic with variations for our lifetime. It is the flu of our generation. The State of Washington has removed any and all spacing requirements from indoor dining spaces, save for proof of vaccination at King County. The reason to continue having the streateries is gone, gone, gone!

It is to my amazement that other businesses who would benefit from having an extra piece of real estate in the street have not applied for such a permit from the city. These are businesses such as florists, clothing stores, gift shops, hair and beauty salons, garden supply stores, etc. After all, if restaurants can take street space to seat their customers, why wouldn’t a retail shop benefit from displaying their wares on a designated portion of the street during their business hours, or a hair and beauty salon take advantage of the outdoorsy, heated and well-lit space to cut customer’s hair or do their nails without mandating that they keep their masks on? If the city can provide a dining room for a restaurant, they should certainly not discriminate and provide equal real estate to any other business that requires such amenity for their COVID impacted business.

The city has also said that there will be only 20 permits issued in total, about 17 of which have already been issued. That is of course creating value out of thin air for an existing streatery owner. It is like “key money,” or a NY or SF cab “Medallion,” a Mob-like practice that stinks to high heaven. If you want to get a license for your streatery, you’ll have to buy an existing streatery and demolish it before you could build your own. The fact that the city won’t issue any more permits after 20, drives up existing streatery “key money” prices, and that is creating value out of thin air for the existing owners.

The Edmonds City Council will vote whether or not to continue extending the streateries into 2022 on Tuesday, Dec. 7, only with the assumption that it will help restaurants and patrons. What about retailers? What about street parking? What about residential streets that have turned into parking spaces for those restaurants? One restaurant owner operating three streateries in Edmonds is reaping such great benefit that they opened two new restaurants in Seattle during COVID times and a labor shortage when restaurants were supposed to be hurting. The hurt is there for many who play fair and pay for their business real estate, but not when an Edmonds streatery is providing nearly free real estate for a dining room extension, reducing the business operating costs and allowing huge profits to expand into other cities.

I must repeat. The reason to continue having the Edmond Streateries is gone, gone, gone!

Please call or email your councilmember and ask them to vote NO to extending beyond the end of 2021.

Let’s take our streets back and return to the quaint little Edmonds that we all love.

Fred Milani
Edmonds business owner

77 Replies to “Letter to the editor: No reason to continue streateries in Edmonds”

  1. The reason to CONTINUE the Edmonds Streateries is Omicron, Omicron, Omicron!
    Patrice Kettner, Retired RN

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    1. When the streateries come down, whether it’s now or sometime later, wouldn’t it be nice if they were replaced with more handicapped parking spaces.

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    2. Many restaurants already had and continue operating outdoor patio dining, heated and some covered. We don’t need to Streateries to provide outdoor dining.

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    3. Dear Ms. Kettner, you of course know that we are all affected by COVID-19 and its variants, and may already be aware that many restaurants already offer heated outdoor dining (some covered) for your pleasure. There is no reason to take up street space to create outdoor dining. The restaurants can still do table seating on the sidewalk without extending into the street.

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      1. Like many challenges we face today it comes down to fairness. Let’s just level the playing field by following our laws. Let’s not put one business over another. The was supposed to be temporary. It has clearly worked well for some, sadly not for others. It’s hard to build small town unity when some are given distinct advantage over others. Personally we eat in Edmonds as much as possible.. but I dislike the streateries. The small town charm is greatly diminished. Walkable Edmonds- not so much! Plus they are not attractive – you can put lipstick on a pig… it’s still swine! Please let’s get a proper council ruling – fair is fair!

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  2. I am very sad to see the owner of Girardi’s, a long time restaurant in our town write a letter like this. Incredibly disappointed .

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    1. Ms. Parker, it is a matter of Edmonds favoring the businesses of a certain street over ALL businesses, from retail to theater to, of course, restaurants.

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  3. I’m still waiting for the person who’s for the Streeteries to stand up and say “I’m willing to pay more”. Generally the proponents are bunch of cheapskates who want to avoid paying a fair share of costs or expenses. I do kind of understand the restaurants who have them point of you, why not get free rent? The Streeteries are great places for the second and third rate restaurants who can’t compete our food or price, so will use any excuse to keep the freebies coming. If you want them, pay for them, money talks.

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    1. You honestly believe the restaurants with streateries are second or third rate who can’t compete on food or price? All 17 (according to this letter) of them?

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      1. I believe it’s time to start charging these businesses rent. Money talks. How about adding $10 to the price of a meal eaten in the street. I let you decide it’s quality and value.

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  4. Wow. Just wow. A long winded letter that seems to have no premise. So, basically, you don’t support another business succeeding? And the concept of residential areas losing parking is so absurd (drove up Dayton at 5 today and saw at least 9 spots available within 1 block of 5th Main between 4th and 6th). Also, if you have a basic understanding of science, you would have a basic understanding why a hair salon can still function indoors (last I checked, I don’t need my mouth free to get my haircut but do to eat … And since covid is airborne … . Lastly, “our generation’s flu”??? Tell that to the nurses at Harborview who have to treat patients from out of state because the systems can’t handle the ill. But back to you … As a business owner who is on the physical periphery, why are you bad mouthing other restaurants? Success isn’t like pie … There’s enough for all.

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  5. I just want more parking for the handicap. The have all disappeared. My 89year old mom and my husband with Parkinson’s need parking close our favorite restaurants. We miss going out now that we are all triple vaccinated! I am able bodied and don’t mind walking. Parking has become impossible with all the structures.

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    1. A solution would be to change a significant number of parking spaces adjacent to streeteries to disabled along with drop off only spaces.. Hoping for a workable solution for our elderly and disabled while temporarily keeping the business district alive. Parking in downtown Edmonds has never been that great because few businesses have their own parking.

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  6. Also, speaking as a business owner whose parking has made way for str-eating, this is possibly the best LTE written. The houseboats in Seattle have to periodically prove that they can unmoored and are capable of movement. I think Feedme Hospitality has successfully pulled off Adverse Possession – occupying space for so long that it’s theirs now. They and others have gamed COVID-19 to get more simply because they are politically connected. Maybe the city could provide a rent-free space to drop off and store the shacks in case they are needed again. For now, prove that they can be moved.

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  7. Actually, removing even more parking spaces for business space is a phenomenal idea.

    The fewer cars we have in Edmonds, the safer and more livable it will be, for residents and businesses alike.

    Sounds like a win win. How do we get Council to expand the streatery program to include other programs so we can reclaim our streets from oversized, climate-destroying, obesogenic, dangerous SUVs?

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  8. Girardis isn’t even really in the area with most of the streateries. Not sure why he would complain. So tired of hearing about this.

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  9. Page 198 of the December 7, 2021 Agenda Packet proves that Ordinance 4209 makes the following Emergency Declaration:

    “Without an immediate adoption of this Interim Zoning Ordinance, streateries would need to continue to operate under a special event permit.”

    Interim Zoning Ordinances require a Public Hearing within 60 days. A Public Hearing was never held for Ordinance 4209.

    Why have City Officials never resolved this?

    General Zoning regulations are found in ECDC Title 17. For example, Bistro and Outdoor dining is allowed pursuant to ECDC 17.70.040. Specific to streateries, Ordinance 4209 allows 20 streateries in the BD Zone. No other Zones are mentioned.

    City officials have known its Code to contain errors and inconsistencies since 2000. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been budgeted to rewrite the Code. The process has never been completed and City officials refuse to provide a code rewrite status update.

    Why would Bistro and Outdoor Dining be Temporary Uses covered under ECDC 17.70, but not streateries?

    The City of Edmonds has a Development Code Amendment process allowing for application for amendments to the City Code. This process is documented in City of Edmonds Handout #P23. This process was used on October 15, 2020 when an applicant paid a $7,780 fee to apply for an amendment to ECDC 20.75.045.B.

    Shouldn’t somebody have to pay a fee to apply for an amendment to ECDC 17.70.040 even if the request is for a temporary time period? Maybe not $7,780, but shouldn’t an appropriate fee be charged and an application process followed?

    What is scheduled for Tuesday night is clearly based on a request. Following is what the Agenda states:

    “Public Hearing on a Request to Extend Permitting of Streateries”

    Also, Edmonds City Council had an opportunity to VOTE to conduct a Public Hearing on Streateries during the November 23,2021 Council Meeting. City Council did not vote to do so. It will be interesting to see how City Council handles this fact on Tuesday.

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    1. I am hoping the city council hears the citizens and sees most do not want this inconvenience anymore. This Bowl our city center I guess is our place to go for shopping. Why would you want to allow such ridiculous thinking such as no more cars in Edmonds haha. Well that isn’t going to happen without a legal battle. Continuing to prevent people from the parking spaces WE pay for is unacceptable. I think the council will vote to remove them by the end of the year. I truly do. Remember many people who live all over the city are going to be very angry if they are not removed and we are not given our parking again that we pay for… Its not the money its the principle of all of this. Take them down and do it firmly. No maybe next year no maybe someday. JUST no they are coming back. Case Closed. Then we move on and hope business begins to thrive again. I am sure they will do just fine.

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  10. The streateries make it even more difficult for my wheelchair bound husband to enjoy Edmonds. First, he cannot access them because of the curb. Second there is no place for us to park and allow him to get out of the car. Access for the handicapped is a big problem in this city. No one thinks about it until it affects them.

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    1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a parking garage a block from fountain? With a public restroom. We could make it wheel chair accessible too with wide doors. Maybe even a separate door for this and have it include a family restroom for folks with little ones. The handicapped citizens will not need this restroom as much so to combine them with the family restroom with changing table etc. I am sure your young families would like that. Then a second one in at a time second door for everyone with a toilet and a urinal. Both with sinks. Then you could easily get your husband in his wheelchair from the handicapped space and roll right down the street/which will have the correct curbs… and he can then get all around the streets. All the cross walks are surely accessible? So I am sorry it is hard for your husband I truly am. Lets fight for our right to be treated well as one would expect to be in Edmonds WA. XO to you.

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  11. I want the street seating for restaurants to be discontinued. If it were possible for my store to succeed with an on-street shop, I might actually try it because the loss of parking has really affected my store. I understand why the street seating for restaurants was a good idea initially and want us all to be successful in business. But, now, folks are flooding to the restaurants and it is time for the street seating to be discontinued. I am being told by more than one customer that they don’t want to come down into Edmonds anymore because they consider it hazardous and frustrating. Folks ask me when this mess is going to end. Please give us other merchants a fair chance at survival and give us our parking back.

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    1. I am trying, I think many others are too Justin. We need our Council to vote to remove these with no further discussion of if or when they ever come back…Just out now would be better for you all. You might still have a chance to get some shoppers but they better hurry. If not then after they are taken down and fast…Jan will bring sales and hopefully your customers will return when they can park again. I will come then and I don’t even know which store is yours. I will buy something even if it is not for me. I promise you this as I respect you for writing this and not being afraid to stand up for yourself and your fellow merchants. They should all be with you and standing united as those who don’t may lose business when this inconvenience not taken seriously to others who can’t now park in Edmonds and must drive.

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  12. I think what people don’t understand is that the people in control of this don’t appear to care about long-time residents, the elderly or the disabled (or their fellow business owners in downtown Edmonds). The owner of Feed Me Hospitality and Restaurant Group (Shooby Doo Catering, Salt and Iron, Bar Do Jo, The Mar.Ket, Sankai, and Fire and The Feast), Shubert Ho recently tweeted:

    Shubert Ho@ChefShubert

    Nov 23
    What’s a Streatery you ask? An outdoor dining place that apparently draws the attention of a small group of individuals who don’t enjoy progress. In other news, flour still has gluten in it. #edmonds #streateries #togetherwearedivided

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  13. We enjoy the Streateries!
    Covid or no covid we hope outdoor dining is here to stay in ALL seasons. We have friends who now come to our ‘hometown’ to eat and shop because of the cozy, welcoming, quaint vibe of Edmonds. It’s a destination for sure! Edmonds seems to have been able to implement a practice that’s been enjoyed by the Europeans since the mid-17th century. It has become an essential part of our everyday life in our PNW style.

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  14. The Edmonds Streeteries are a home run and their continuation is a no-brainer. They have allowed my young family opportunity to safely dine outside during the pandemic and transformed our downtown into a more walkable, inviting place. Streeteries provide safe gathering places for families of all ages to sit, talk, eat and enjoy some normalcy during tough times.

    The concerns about parking are overblown. Edmonds has plenty of parking and these streeteries prioritize people over cars, a trade off we should enthusiastically embrace. 1 parking spot can accommodate up to 12 diners!

    I would urge the council to extend streeteries indefinitely.

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  15. Outdoor dining? Cool (literally and figuratively). Taking over public parking and streets long term at no cost to the business owners? Not cool. Heck, if I want to have a dumpster put at my curb for a week I have to pay a fee. Time for this to end – as long as businesses can be conducted indoor in the space they pay for and built their business around.

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  16. I want to underscore Kay Johnson’s comment about handicap accessibility. It has become non-existent downtown with the streateries and needs to be corrected. This is truly one of those issue areas in life that it is easy to pooh-pooh until you become intimately affected by mobility constraints. We should think about how actions affect more than just ourselves or our businesses or our favorite eateries. Please bring back the handicap parking lost to streateries.

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  17. Streateries should be removed when COVID-based restrictions are lifted. Until that time, there is no need for this debate.

    Over time, the City invests a tremendous amount in creating and maintaining each parking space. Therefore, each parking space has great $ value. The State Constitution prohibits the gifting of public funds (except for the poor and infirm), so $100/year seems inadequate.

    I am not aware of any streateries located in ADA parking spaces, so not sure how streateries have reduced ADA parking.

    This is a great time to focus on other things–like the people in our lives whom we love.

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  18. The last thing Edmond’s city government, as now constituted, cares about is any sort of mass public input of advice and/or consent. The wisdom of government by and for the people does not exist here; short of an angry mob yelling ENOUGH outside the City Hall grounds. That’s the only thing most of our city elected officials really understand. A very small group of our C.P.s are truly interested in the will of the people OVER private gain and the political flavor of the day. Hopefully, that group just got a little larger.

    On the personal level, the Streateries don’t matter all that much to me, (I’d prefer them gone), as I don’t plan to pay too much for dinner and drinks and then have to eat and drink while inhaling propane fumes in a plywood shack. I’ll leave that dubious pleasure to the young folks. I do think the city council needs to discuss the fairness of continuing this practice and some possible higher use fees and compensation of the the businesses that are adversely affected by them. The minimum requirement should at least be a true legal process as Mr. Reidy points out in his comments.

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  19. Janice, This is not true. Have you actually left the region lately? My husband and I just returned from a two month road trip across the country. We never saw restaurant sheds or boarded up businesses, except a few in a couple of down-and-out industrial cities in the Midwest. New England is packed with adorable towns but no sheds. Outdoor dining is allowed on their own property. We didn’t go to the southern states so can’t speak for them. I don’t think you have to worry about Edmonds’ restaurants going out of business. Some of them are doing so well with the free public property we’ve given them that they’re opening more restaurants.

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    1. Kathy, we too just returned from a three month road trip. We saw several improvised outdoor dining areas on our route. Not sheds, as you call them. Many small towns have done what Edmonds has done, in areas where the weather is colder and wet. I don’t understand what the problem with them is. We love them as do our visitors. All this talk against the one restauranteur, Schubert Ho, is ridiculous. He has revitalized our sleepy little town. I know many visitors who have come to Edmonds to eat at one of his restaurants and then stay and shop.

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      1. Dawn, “improvised outdoor dining areas?” Hmm… I don’t know what you saw on your trip but I know what I see in Edmonds — wood sheds.

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  20. I like the streateries. A lot.
    I also laugh about them being called “progress”. What is progressive about eating outside? May be the oldest activity known to man.

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  21. We love eating outside in good weather, but that season is over as well as Covid restrictions for dining.

    If restaurants want outdoor dining, they may need to consider moving locations to space with permanent patios- like Red Twig, Epulo or Anthony’s.

    People clearly want outdoor dining, but trying to support local restaurants by sitting at a picnic table eating $90 ribeyes, being warmed by a table top heater while cars whiz by has lost its charm. Helping to support businesses during rough times is great, but it is time to reconsider your business model for your customer’s comfort and be considerate of neighboring businesses. Covid, omicron, and the next one are probably here for a while.

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    1. You’re totally on point. I want to add Girardi’s outdoor Patio space, fully paid as part of the lease, and does not protrude into public space in any way. Overhead clean and quiet electric heaters on every table, garden-like setting, large 3-tier fountain, grape-vines (and actual Merlot grapes in season) hanging on the trellises, and a covered patio portion just in case it is raining.

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  22. I do not like the streateries (they make walking in downtown Edmonds less pleasant) but I can understand why someone might like them. What I really don’t like is the arrogance of Schubert Ho’s tweet copied below

    Nov 23
    What’s a Streatery you ask? An outdoor dining place that apparently draws the attention of a small group of individuals who don’t enjoy progress. In other news, flour still has gluten in it

    Just looking at the response to the Letter to the Editor, one can see that more than a few people don’t like the streeteries and that they are seriously adversely affecting other businesses in downtown Edmonds.

    On a further note, I don’t understand how Shubert’s corporation got the contract for dining in the Waterfront Center. I don’t remember any competitiive bidding process. The few times I have been there, it was not very heavily used. I am waiting for the pronouncement from the City that because the restaurant operation is losing montey, it must be subsidized.

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    1. Hoping that the Waterfront Center can clarify this, but what I was remember from reviewing the documents a few years ago was that the Waterfront Center did have a bidding process for the dining/catering work. — Teresa

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  23. The “progress” is the notion that the Streateries bring some sort of advanced ambiance and cachet to our city that is somehow a great benefit to all the residents in the form of more dining opportunities and increased sales taxes for running our city. We are somehow more sophisticated because we are modeling European cities or some such nonsense. If eating and drinking in a plywood shed or shack cuddled up to a roaring propane fire is your idea of the good life and getting back to nature, go for it. I prefer my winter ambiance and cachet to be experienced at the new Salish Sea Boathouse facility, inside, with people I like, admire and enjoy being around, and I include the owners and staff in this remark. Different strokes, for different folks.

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  24. Meow, not constructive at all. We love to WALK without tripping on plywood barricades. OUT WITH Them all,

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  25. I’ll eat inside when proof of vaccination is required as it is in King County, and not eating inside if I can’t have that assurance.

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    1. Theresa Anderson, if you do a little research you will find that the mandates have been devestating to the King County restaurants’ business. See

      https://www.q13fox.com/news/local-restaurants-struggle-with-loss-of-business-due-to-king-co-vaccine-mandate

      https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/survey-67-of-nyc-restaurants-lost-customers-to-vaccine-mandate/609196/

      https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/nycs-vaccine-mandate-has-been-disaster-restaurants-study-finds

      And the vaccines are not preventing people from getting or spreading the virus, only lessening the severity. So if you have chosen to take the vaccine, whether someone else does or not, your outcome is the same. So let’s not destroy businesses again.

      If you have health issues, please protect yourself.

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    1. Janelle – Well done!

      You brought up observations that should be talked about – it would be Nice if Everyone who is has a side in this debate watched the video “Saturday Night Edmonds Streatery Usage” – come to your own conclusion about Streatery’s.

      Janelle’s video can be viewed on
      Facebook https://fb.watch/9JdKMPjAQB/
      or on You Tube https://youtu.be/esbdQC5tTaI.

      Again Thank YOU.

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    2. I was interested to see what you found, but 830 pm? I would love to hear why you chose that time as opposed to 6 or 7 pm.

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    3. Your video is biased I believe. It was shot at 9 pm at night. How many restaurants in Edmonds are full at 9pm?

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      1. Dawn – I disagree with you that the video is biased – restaurants highest traffic/volume evenings are Friday and or Saturday – the peak is usually for dinners is between 8& 9 in the evening – the only thing that wasn’t biased in Janell’s video is that is wasn’t raining that evening.

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        1. The time stamp of the Nest photo is 9:08:21. I can’t attach photos to this comment. Ms. Case was unaware of a photo being taken. She is standing in front of the streateries filming herself in her phone.

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      2. And since you watched the video, I’m sure you noticed that Janelle actually started her tour of the streeteries at 8pm, quite reasonable for a Saturday, especially given that all the restaurants were bustling inside.

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        1. That’s weird, where are you seeing a time stamp? I followed both links and there isn’t any time stamp on either one. I guess it’s 8-830 pm.

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  26. Temporary or not it would of been nice to see a better planned architectural outdoor eating enclosure. Example, Old Town Anacortes .

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    1. Barry for the win. I love street-eating. Why not plan it, zone it? Red Twig has always seemed to strike that balance. My wife and I used to go to Pearl Street in Boulder. That could be done here. Instead we have shacks, that are not legal, and a Tragedy of the Commons.

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  27. I had to laugh at Clinton describing how eating in a curbside shack in winter, bundled into a coat and smelling propane fumes is a ‘dubious pleasure’! I look forward to the day they are removed. In summer we all can agree it’s very pleasant to eat outdoors on a patio, but an ugly wood structure doesn’t enhance the pleasure , at least for me. But as long as they are present, why not at least charge the restaurant owners a bigger user fee and donate that money to the Food Bank, for instance.

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  28. Thanks, Janelle for documenting the sad reality. I have always thought that the streateries were evidence of city government picking winners and losers. Shame on them. This kind of policy is not at all equitable, and on that principle alone, should be ended. These structures are also hazardous eyesores. Let’s allow this bad policy to sunset on December 31 to make this the last Christmas we have to endure the Hooverville shanties. Restore the charm of downtown Edmonds!

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  29. I support the fact that Edmonds has not put servers in the position of having to be vaccine police. For families like ours (vaccinated adults, children too young to be eligible) who do not want the town to implement a mandate, but do want to support our local restaurants, the additional outdoor space has made date nights and parent group meetups possible. As an Edmonds homeowner and tax payer I think that we should extend for nine months through the end of next summer to see where things are. On issues of fairness I would support rotating permits in case there are restaurants that would like to rotate in to some of the outdoor spaces. The charm of Edmonds is in the way we treat one another, as well as our still beautiful downtown. A few temporary structures doesn’t dramatically alter our architectural integrity. If the town needs to ensure that we plan handicapped spaces in the meantime that’s a separate issue that should be considered. Let’s respect one another and continue to provide additional dining space for those not ready to dine indoors, and for those of you who find it an eyesore I suggest a table inside and away from the windows. Win-Win

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    1. Watched Janelle’s video of Edmonds downtown at 8:00 PM dinner time? At that time it wouldn’t be seniors or disabled in need of parking, and that late at night would be cold.. What’s it like during the day when people shop, snack or eat lunch?

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  30. I’m still waiting for those who want to keep the streeteries, to say yes to charging rent, and that they’re willing to pay more for their privilege of eating in the street. That I would respect. For those who want to eat outside saying they will support the businesses that have patio dining which there are many. That I would respect. The charm of Edmonds is not asking for a free ride.

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  31. TAKE THEM DOWN now!!!!!! They are an eye sore and look like trash!! Our city is better than that I’m sure. Come on Edmonds let’s clean up the mess!!

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  32. I am strongly in favor of maintaining the Edmonds Streeteries, at a minimum through June of next year. The pandemic is far from over and indoor dining, even though permitted at capacity, is just not a smart option (even if a vaccine mandate was in place.) The Streeteries have provided a much-needed sense of community, vibrancy and energy of the past two years, and a permanent expanded street-side solution would continue this wonderful ambience in Edmonds. If some “equity” is deemed necessary to be maintain Streeteries, a rental fee or taxation on the space could be instituted, making the onus on the viability, the option of the individual restaurants. There is not a parking problem in Edmonds. There are always spaces available within a block or so of a specific business. I love seeing people outside the restaurants eating, chatting, looking in stores and creating a sense of vibrancy and energy in the downtown shopping district. The Streeteries have provided a way to envisage a future downtown that brings folks to Edmonds where outdoor street -side dining keeps an otherwise rather sleepy downtown alive, and as a destination for many, from all over the greater Seattle area, to seek for its atmosphere and progressive vision.

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    1. Ms. Hafford, the beauty of it is there are currently several restaurants in downtown Edmonds who already offer heated outdoor dining on their own private property, providing a sense ocommunity, vibrancy and energy. There is no more reason to provide Street right of way as structures for restaurants, as there is providing shop-lets for clothing stores, gift shops, garden supply stores, etc, on the street right of way. Every business pays for the space they conduct business in. The free street real estate, unsafe and ugly as they are, take away from the public street and other businesses for many reasons, such as street exposure, Handicap parking in front of a particular retail shop, and parking. I don’t suppose you’d be excited about shopping at your favorite store and walking two blocks in the rain, with two bags of goods you purchased, to where you parked your car.

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  33. I’m remembering why I stopped reading the comments, but it’s been disheartening to witness such a lack of compassion by some in our community. Our neighbors are telling us they don’t feel safe eating in restaurants during a pandemic. Our restaurant owners are asking us for this outdoor seating to sustain their business. These are not reasons enough to temporarily inconvenience you? And from what? Displeasing you visually? Maybe having to drive a few extra seconds to find a parking spot? (We’ve yet to have an issue parking.) And now this woman who actually ran for our council is going to the extent of filming the streateries when businesses are closed to influence public opinion? What is wrong with you people? Honestly, you sound like monsters.

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    1. Matt Grisafi,

      Your comment is the most “disheartening” of all. You’ve called all those who disagree with you, for legitimate and well stated reasons, “monsters.”

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      1. Sorry, but save for the comments on making sure there is access for our less mobile neighbors, I don’t find any of this opposition legitimate or well stated. This is a time when we should be coming together to support each other. The majority of what I’m seeing here is sour grapes and selfishness, if not outright lies.

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        1. Matt G,

          Apology not accepted. Calling those who disagree with your narrow perspective “monsters” is divisive and mean. You haven’t fully researched, or likely haven’t even read all the comments, that discuss many issues that make these structures unsafe, give aways to some restaurants at the expense of other restaurants and businesses, contribute to climate change (https://myedmondsnews.com/2021/12/letter-to-the-editor-edmonds-streateries-some-basic-math/ ),and yes, make it difficult for those with disabilities to find parking.

          You say, “Our neighbors are telling us they don’t feel safe eating in restaurants during a pandemic.” Many of the restaurants that benefit from streateries also have outdoor, sidewalk dining. There are plenty of outdoor spaces, without the streateries, for those who choose to eat outside during the winter.

          I used to have mixed feelings about the streateries. I don’t have mixed feelings about someone who calls their neighbors “monsters.” Perhaps you can change my mind about that.

          Ignored

    2. I’m glad the person in charge allowed Matt Grisafi’s comment on here because its good to know when someone compares you to a monster for having ideas that are different than his.

      Ignored

  34. I think they should come down. Looks terrible. I hope the city isn’t “liking” a cash cow. I see Girardis point completely. You pay downtown a particular very high price per square foot in rent. The shanties just added How much more sq ft for only $100 dollars? Girardi’s is paying the real real-estate value and is penalized for it. Where another only pays $100. I agree either it’s offered to EVERY business or no business. Take down the huts. This is a endemic.

    Ignored

  35. Sorry folks, but short of about 1000 of us marching on Civic Center again, this thing is cut and dried. The power structure here wants Streateries and Walkable Main Street permanent and they will get it. Tomorrow’s vote will be at least 4 to 3 in favor of extending to June 2022. There are three sure votes to extend and one very probable and at least one more possible. In June next year, the development staff will again lobby Council to keep the Streateries because it will be a little warmer by then and they will be seen being used more. The pitch will be the city needs the revenue they bring in and they are too valuable to get rid of. If Covid is still a big factor, fear will also be used. The same thing will happen with the Walkable Mainstreet issue. There will be little to no demand for fairness unless the citizens band together and force the issue another way. Fair compensation to the city coffers for private use of the public right of way and compensation for the harmed business’ should be the minimum we accept, if we let our city be altered permanently in this manner.

    Ignored

  36. Someone, I think it was a Ms. Murphy, mentioned that the mandates are “a disaster” for King Co. restaurants. That’s laughable- have you been to some restaurants in Seattle recently? They are doing very well, and people are obviously enjoying dining indoors w/other vaccinated patrons. I ate at the Pink Door in the Pike Place MArket just last week and it was delightful, and every table was filled! That’s just one example. Oh, and I noticed that article she quoted was from Fox News and they have a well-documented bias against vaccines, mandates, etc. Plus, her statement that the vaccines don’t prevent you from getting Covid? That again is incorrect.

    Ignored

  37. Here’s how they are handling the situation in Paris-

    1)the newly established outdoor eateries cannot use patio heaters because of environmental concerns
    2)they can only operate April through October
    3)must close down by 10 pm, no music allowed
    4)must not block sidewalks
    5)must be situated in parking spots and
    6)the city will now allow record stores, bookshops and flower shops to do the same

    Of course, Paris depends upon tourism for its survival and that drives such decisions. I thought Edmonds was a special community in which to raise a family, work and enjoy the outdoors when I moved here a few decades ago, but it seems to be moving in the direction of prioritizing other values these days.

    Ignored

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