Streateries redo? Edmonds City Council schedules Dec. 20 special meeting

Rusty Pelican streatery

The story of the streateries in downtown Edmonds isn’t over yet.

The Edmonds City Council has scheduled a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, to consider amending the ordinance approved by the council during its Thursday, Dec. 16 meeting.

According to agenda posted Saturday night, three councilmembers have proposed amending the ordinance that the council approved by a 5-2 vote Dec. 16. Council President Susan Paine is listed as the  sponsor of the measure to be considered Monday night, but the other two councilmembers weren’t named in the agenda packet. The amendments include changing the permit extension date from April 30 to May 31, 2022; reducing the streatery fee charged participating restaurants from $4,000 to $2,000, and allowing the fee to be paid in installments.

The city council in December 2020 passed an ordinance that allowed the temporary streateries in on-street parking spaces, with the goal of giving the public an outdoor dining option during COVID-19. That ordinance was scheduled to sunset Dec. 31, but city staff had originally proposed extending it for six months. A total of 17 downtown restaurants have taken advantage of the streateries option during the past year.

Stating the streateries should continue as part of the city’s effort to protect public and economic health, Councilmember Laura Johnson had moved to approve the extension as proposed by staff through June 30, 2022. However, Councilmember Will Chen proposed an amendment — approved by a 4-3 vote with Councilmembers Laura Johnson, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Paine voting against — with an earlier sunset date of April 30, along with a $4,000 lump-sum fee per streatery, due Dec. 31, 2021. The amendment also states that any streatery operator who does not want to pay the permit extension fee must remove their streatery by Jan. 15, 2022.

The meeting will be held virtually using the Zoom meeting platform. To view or listen to this Edmonds City Council Meeting, 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

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

You can see the complete special meeting agenda here.

 

64 Replies to “Streateries redo? Edmonds City Council schedules Dec. 20 special meeting”

  1. I am 77 yrs old and live in Edmonds – I eat at least once a week downtown around 3-4pm The Streateries are empty – an eyesore and take up parking. They are ugly and unfair to other businesses – and prohibit older Edmonds residents from COMING TO TOWN. Be real if you extend this you intend for them to stay for another year at least – Ugly Ugly Shanty Town.

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    1. I think the fact that you are eating at a restaurant from 3-4pm could be a primary contributing factor to you not seeing people using the Streateries. Having worked in the restaurant business, 3-4pm is probably one of the least busy times for any restaurant. My experience is that for brunch, lunch, and dinner weather and the individual restaurant’s amenities (lighting, seating, heat, maintenance) for their streatery play a significant role in how well used they are. Location also makes a difference. Salt and Iron seems to regularly fill up, as does Rusty Pelican and Santa Fe Mexican Grill.

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  2. What is being done about the parking? How about council members drive aroundd at night and count the number of people dining outside. There does not seem to be a great need now. Shut them down and in Spring create the fees etc. And start over. anyone else dislike Edmonds smelling like frying oil?

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  3. This is outrageous!!! 2000 for 4 months, 16.60 per day. One burger and a soda.
    Wow!!! With all the alcohol sold on weekends! Well it’s clear as day we can see whose in the backpocket of council!
    Oh some of these council members love to hate on citizens and seniors.

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  4. Stop the insanity! So does this mean the council president Susan Paine can call a special meeting to amend every ordinance that is passed that she voted against, smh. What a bunch of clowns.
    Drive by the streateries at anytime now and most are empty. Salish Brewing has outside seating and a streaterie, talk about double dipping.
    Time for all of them to come down.

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  5. Unbelievable, but not surprising. Keep the ordinance as was voted on December 16th. It is a fair compromise. The City of Edmonds deserves better. It is time to move on.

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    1. I have been an Edmonds Resident for 25 years! I walk to town many times during the week now with my 19 month old grandson. Our family supports the businesses and restaurants 100% with take out several times per week. The other day I was in front of Housewares and witnessed a SUV making a u turn on Main Street and hitting a streeterie structure and going up on the sidewalk to get a parking spot! I also saw the Chanterells structure where someone had backed into the structure and it was damaged.! SAFETY of pedestrians is a
      BIG factor that I haven’t seen being discussed! I also observed more people are eating inside dining and the streeteries are not as full. Charging fees is ridiculous and has no purpose just take down the streeteries!

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  6. I live in Edmonds, and to keep us safe these streeteries we’re put in place. We want our restaurants to stay open and viable. There should be NO FEE to them. How is that helping. When I go by, every day, there are people eating and drinking in them.
    It’s the only way we’ve been able to eat out. So absurd. This whole thing. I’m 65. I park and walk a block if I need to, or get dropped off. It’s not rocket science.
    We need the streeteries, we need to get outside for human connection. There’s a freaking pandemic. Deal with the inconvenience for a while. And stop trying to charge these owners.

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  7. A week or so ago, on Market Saturday, I went to take a look at the streateries and even ate breakfast at Salt & Iron outside. It was cold, and there were barking dogs involved. I think it is great to have an outdoor spot people with pets can eat, but I would eat inside next time. The Rusty Pelican streaterie was jam packed, but most of the others were barely used. I think $4,000 for four months is a lot for a restaurant to pay and that a monthly fee would help rather than a lump sum. This is going to be assessed to those with “pickup only” parking spots too I hope, like that for the teriyaki place and the restaurant on the corner at the fountain. There should be a scale based on the number of parking spots used by the restaurant or any business who uses the street parking for their business.

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  8. Enough is enough. It’s time for the streateries to go. The $4000m for 4 months makes perfect sense. If they are truly adding significantly to a business’s bottom line they’ll pay it. If not, they’ll shut them down and we’ll get our streets back.

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    1. Thank you Robert, Susan, Lori, Cheryl!! Appreciate your comments. Would love to hear all of you call in to council on Monday and express your sentiments.

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  9. Please listen to those of us who are seniors and live here in the bowl. We love Edmonds and chose to live here for the charm and convenience of the “old-town” ambience. The ugly shacks on our sidewalks ruin that. Time for their demolition!!

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  10. What a joke. So, do-overs are a thing for grown-up, elected, city council members?! What a clown show. At this point, why even have another “meeting?” Just do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, and who cares about proper procedure and debate and all that other grown-up stuff. One thing this pandemic has revealed is how inept most “leaders” really are. I’m embarrassed for Edmonds.

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  11. Council President Paine did not vote with the majority, so how is she legally able to bring this back for reconsideration?

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  12. Some restaurant owners obviously believe that the primary reason our city exists is to allow them to operate a more than thriving business.

    Regarding my previous comment above, C.P. Paine can probably schedule a council meeting but I don’t believe she can introduce the amended motion.

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  13. I was shocked, and thought well the Edmonds plutocrats are at it again. As long as you have deep pockets (a favorite in Edmonds) it’s okay to have shanty town . I’m ashamed to
    live in Edmonds. I thought the $100.00 was unfair based on the circumstances at that time, they were being taken advantage of for just trying to stay afloat. But it IS time to get rid of ALL of them. Period!

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  14. By all means, let’s ignore 20 years of rapid urban growth in Edmonds and it’s significant impact on parking downtown and instead place all the blame for parking issues on the streateries. While we are at it, let’s also completely ignore that there is a pandemic in every comment on this forum and not at all address how these streateries are trying to respond to it. I don’t care if the streateries don’t match the Edmonds you’ve known for the last 25-50 years right now. People strongly benefit from a safe outdoor dining option even if you don’t personally take advantage of it. The streateries aren’t going to be there forever, but they do need to be there now. If I were to guess, the choice to revisit the City Counsels decision on streateries comes in anticipation of Inslee’s upcoming speech about Covid response, the president’s upcoming speech about Omicron, travel, mandates, and vaccinations, and all the new data we have about infection rates and it’s impact on hospitalizations. Of course the City Counsel is reconsidering their decision about streateries because the circumstances are changing and so should our priorities.

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    1. Wilder, most of these restaurants came here under Trump. You’re trying to argue that a pandemic (a communicable disease) and makeshift wooden structures on the street are progress and urban growth. Yes, outside eating is awesome. Let’s not do that in the parking spaces.

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      1. I’m not sure how you landed on that interpretation from my comment, but I’ll respond nonetheless. I don’t think a single person in this forum would argue that a pandemic is progress. As for the streateries, they are a temporary adaptation to an extraordinary circumstance. Since they aren’t part of a permanent plan, they can’t really be viewed as progressive. Instead, I think think they are a creative solution to, god willing, a temporary problem. To be clear, once the pandemic has subsided to the point where we no longer are required to wear masks I think they should come down. Maybe one day there will be an outdoor plaza where people can dine, but my hope for that is in a revitalized area of Hwy 99 where there’s less griping about keeping things the same as 50 years ago.

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    2. City council is reconsidering their vote because the restaurant owners are pressuring them and some members are more than willing to oblige. The restaurants want them extended for as long as they can for as cheaply as they can because it’s a cash cow. With 100% occupancy since June 30th, the streateries provide overflow dining on public property. Observe empty streateries that get occupied after restaurants fill. Behind-the-scenes negotiations are going on. Note Twitter comments on December 17th, the day AFTER the vote from Shubert Ho to Will Chen: “And we restauranteurs stated that fee was too much. Let the record state that you and I did not agree on a $1000 per month fee.” On December 18th, Will Chen responds to streateries supporters: “We haven’t give up on the $2000 yet.” Tomorrow’s special meeting proves it.

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  15. I wish the council would put the half the energy into the businesses at the Plum Tree Plaza on Highway 99. They were burned out since September! No one seems to care about these businesses and restaurants except Will Chen. He can’t do it alone. I doubt the council would ever call a special session to help these poor businesses. Show your constituents that you care about all the restaurants and businesses in all of Edmonds not just those in the bowl.

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    1. Well said, Alison! Not to mention the rampant crime along HWY99 which now includes regular shootings. It’s time for the council to get their house in order and focus on where our resources are needed most.

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  16. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for COVID19 we wouldn’t even be having this debate. It won’t change until everyone is vaccinated and that might not work with all the variants that keep popping up. Of course we don’t want to step on people’s personal freedoms.

    This is something that has never happened in our lifetime. It’s trial and error and mistakes will be made. No one person is going to jump in and be our savior. It’s going to take a concerted effort by all.

    When people open a business there are risks. There are always going to be setbacks. COVID19 has been one of those risks. The city has done more to help the restaurants than the shops and other businesses. Maybe that is why more new restaurants and without parking how will they survive. I see now where Bank of America is charging to use their lot.

    I think it is time for the streaties to fade away. They served their purpose for a while and the dead line for closings is comingup. Our sidewalk and street aren’t set up for eating outside. We aren’t Europe.

    I do walk the streets of Edmonds almost everyday and see that they are not being used a lot of the time during the week days. Most restaurants on Main Street are closed 3 days a week and the others open after 3pm.

    Please give us back our streets.

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    1. Mr. Anderson. You mentioned that “the City has done more to help the restaurants than the shops and other businesses”, and I have seen others make this comment as well. Was the sidewalk/street permit option not offered to Tver businesses? Couldn’t other shops and businesses have gotten a permit and set up an outdoor spaces? I was unaware that these permits were only for restaurants.

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  17. It was just learned one of the Councilmembers is unable to be attend the “Special Meeting” and had let Councilmember Paine know twice. The meeting was scheduled anyway. Why else would Councilmember Paine call for a “Special Meeting”? In the likely hood of a tie, she knows the Mayor will get to vote. It doesn’t take much to see through this attempt to change ordinance. And who the the other “undisclosed” Councilmembers are. January 1st cannot come soon enough.

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    1. No matter what is decided it is time that the codes are enforced. I would hope the mayor would apologize to the retailers for his comments.

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    2. You heard me state in two separate Council Meetings that I would be available on Tuesday 12/21 and that still remains the case. Our executive assistant or CP did not call to ask about Monday and instead received a call from CP Paine telling me of the special meeting. I cannot attend as I have long standing yearly (CASA) commitment; and it seems from emails sent by constituents that my vote won’t matter anyway as it appears to have been vetted on Twitter by some Council-members.

      Council has spent more time vetting this issue and listening at the public hearing than the 2022 budget process and public hearing; or the tree code that was scattered late at night among meetings; or the ARPA funds where 42% of the funds ($5.2mm) went to utility enterprise funds (green streets, rain gardens, Stormwater projects) and not dedicated to “human needs or non-profits; or the emergency ordinance 6.60 that gave the Mayor enormous power; or the anti-hate portal which I still don’t understand; or even the development code relating to trees which we have heard from Linda F weekly and so on. I’m hopeful next year WE can all relax and calm down and be pragmatic. Also I’m hopeful that we stop having all these “special” meeting so certain CM are available for their votes. This is plain wrong and I’ve been accused of causing chaos — so whatever — hyperbole is alive and well on Twitter.

      Lastly, since we missed the budget adjournment “special” meeting – CM Kristiana Johnson and I put forth a few of our 2022 amendments to the Finance Committee totally $2.1mm or the unrestricted reserves tapped by the Administration. Since we both helped craft the Fund Balance policy along with Former CM Teitzel and former Finance Director James we clearly understand fiscal responsibilities and oversight. It should come forth 1/4/2022.

      IMHO, citizens will see change next year in transparency and allowing all Council Member to provide their voice in matters of importance to them.

      Happy Holidays!

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        1. You do realize it was CM Chen that asked CP Paine for this meeting, per the latest Seattle Times article.

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  18. My wife says, “so if they don’t like the second vote, are they just going to keep voting until they get the vote they want?” I say, “why bother with a city council at all, let’s just make it an official serial Mayoral monarchy and keep it simple for everyone?”

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  19. Yes, the streateries are ugly. But saving lives has an importance as well. Tearing down the bomb shelter when you know the enemy is approaching has never been a good idea, and Covid is rallying for another attack which will hit in the next weeks.

    Excerpts from today’s editions of various journals:

    Fauci warns omicron variant will cause record-high coronavirus hospitalizations, deaths in U.S.

    “The next month will be the hardest period of the pandemic,” said Tyra Grove Krause, the chief epidemiologist at Denmark’s State Serum Institute
    N.Y. cases hit record high for second straight day, upending holiday plans

    Restaurants are closing again as staff test positive

    London mayor declares ‘major incident’ to help Covid-hit hospitals

    • Chief White House medical adviser: breakthroughs will happen
    • 22,000 new cases but New York says hospitals can cope

    In Britain, the only country that can match Denmark’s variant surveillance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has talked about a “tidal wave” of incoming cases.
    NIH Director: One Million New Daily Cases Is Possible

    The Wall Street Journal reports: CNN is closing its offices to nonessential employees

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  20. I’m getting lots of great re-fi offers on my home near downtown; but not too sure I’m that desperate for an over priced meal in a drafty Streaterie.

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  21. I hope at 80 years of age this is the not the last word or Council Meeting on this topic. At the upcoming Council meeting (please) get rid of the eye sores on the streets!
    For the last week I have been in town picking up dinner or in the alleyway behind the Church Key with ten friends for drinks. The times for these outings was between 4:00pm to 7:30pm. I did a survey both driving in and returning home, I drove by the huts and there was not one with an occupant while the inside of the occupancy had what I would call was busy. If I count the people in front of me and behind me picking up take-out, I would say they were real busy! Council please ban the huts and make the streets safe and beautiful again….maybe better words would be quaint and not hazardous!
    I have lived in our city for going on 26 years and looking forward to for 30 more! I hope I am not too hopeful of a final life span ending for the huts and a lengthy one for myself.

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  22. An amazing sunny Sunday in Edmonds and the town is bustling with diners having brunch.

    Indoors. Nearly all

    Only 2, repeat 2, streateries are occupied.

    Out of 34.

    A wonderful use of public resources for a select few restaurants while the remaining businesses suffer. Well done restaurants – you’re quite the team player.

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  23. This is just more political tricks by the gang of four (I include the Mayor in this group). I would suggest the Council members who who supported Councilmember Chen’s amendment should boycott this end run by Susan Paine and refuse to attend the meeting. Particularly since Paine apparently knew one of the supports of Chen’s amendment could not attend this “special meeting”. No quorum of the Council means no vote can be taken. If changes to the ordinance are truly warranted the issue can be taken up at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council. However, Councilmember Paine knows that the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council will include Neil
    Tibbott hence, no more gang of four voting block.

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  24. After all this stuff the council with make one of the most important decisions of the year at its first meeting in January. The election of a council president and president pro tem for 2022. As we all see the council president has some powers that are extremely important in the life of our city. Key is the setting of the agenda and creating and maintaining the extended agenda. Yes council at a meeting can modify the agenda but it takes 4 votes to do so. The extended agenda, if I understand it correctly is not something voted upon by council but individual CM can request something be added to the extended agenda.

    What is missing most often in our city life is “what will we be deciding this year?” and “when and how will we talk about it and get public input?” Council president can help the public see these things should she/her or he/him or whatever one is suppose to say now days, decide to create a better way to keep the public informed and engaged.

    It would be nice for example to have someone go through the budget items and post when decisions will need to be made by council on the budget items. Staff does work all year but it gets to council after much if not all the early work is done. Council president can lead the way to help the public stay better informed about the timing of our public work.

    Past council presidents have been so busy with their work they have not been able to create such a calendar. Maybe that new Civic Round Table groups who are dedicated to helping keep the public informed could take on this task and offer this service to the public. I would guess all city Directors have a timeline for most of their work for the year and they could share that with the public.

    Hopefully council will elect a Council President who can help us all stay better informed.

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  25. Darrol makes great points here. The Council President is actually a Council Person with some super powers, as Paine is exemplifying on the Streaterie issue right now. The fact she is in the Mayor’s hip pocket is almost criminal. I hope Mr. Chen now realizes how bad his vote was not to censure her when he had the opportunity. This is his reward for promoting harmony and we are all big losers as a result. Mr. Chen, Mr. Tibbott, Ms. Buckniss, Ms.K Johnson and Ms. Olson, please start advocating for Council/Manager reform next year. Our current government is a rediculus disgrace and not serving us well.

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  26. Is there a quorum requirement for a Special Meeting? If only three members show up, does that negate the meeting?

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  27. I echo Mark R. Bucklin’s comments. Every CM whom supported CM Chen’s amendment should boycott this end run by CP Susan Paine and not attend the meeting. It is even more egregious because, apparently, she knew one of CM Chen’s amendment supporters could not attend her “special meeting”.

    As Mr Bucklin states “no quorum of the Council means no vote can be taken”.

    Referring to a previous comment, I didn’t check Cynthia Gutierrez Sjoblom’s math but all this hair pulling about the $4000 fee charged to the streateries, reducing the fee to $2000 equals one burger and a soda a day. In the case of the bars – that’s one alcoholic drink!! A hardship? Really? The $4000 is a gift and in my opinion is too low. Some restaurants have opened other eating establishments during COVID, profiting, while taking advantage of their streateries. I see the greed but where’s the hardship. Where is the concern for the retailers, the elderly and the disabled?

    I frequently visit the Santa Fe restaurant in Kirkland, same one we have and love in Edmonds. No streateries there. Businesses there appear to be thriving.

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  28. I don’t think Chen regrets his vote not to censure Paine. He’s been adopted into the bloc. From the Edmonds Beacon today: “Edmonds City Council President Susan Paine and three councilmembers – Will Chen, Laura Johnson, and Adrienne Fraley Monillas – want to amend the recently adopted ordinance extending streateries, which allows for downtown restaurants to operate in the public right of way.” The bloc and Mayor are in the restaurant owners’ hip pockets.

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  29. Bottom line – no comment here will change a council member’s mind/vote on streateries. With a full council, the decision was made. Yet, the minority has found an backalley way to usurp that decision. This is not the first time a special meeting when not all council members could attend, it won’t be the last – reminiscent of Seattle politics.

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    1. The quorum approach is interesting. Wonder if we can get 4 council persons to not attend.

      Next year will be a refreshing change.

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  30. Tried to stop in for a beer last night with my son 10pm Friday night at any of the watering holes. Every place opened past 10pm (at least 6 that we tried) were 100% packed inside – looked pre-Covid. Couldn’t find a space in any of the places. Zero people sitting in the streeteries at these places still open. Who wants to sit outside freezing, drinking a beer with no other people. My as well stay home. That’s what we ended up doing. Just a data point.

    There’s already a plan in place, and voted in. Stop playing politics. 2022 can only be better.

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    1. Darrell, that is a perfect assessment. I too opened my mind, gave it another look last night. Walking home the restaurants were packed. It was very cold. The streateries were nothing more than overflow seating for the most determined patron.

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  31. What percentage of downtown parking spaces are presently taken up by the “streateries”? It can’t be that significant. The main objection to them is that people think they’re ugly. They’re certainly an unpleasant reminder of the situation we’re all in, but getting rid of them won’t fix that.

    Why were they set up in the first place? Because we had a highly contagious virus circulating that was killing people, and no one wanted to eat inside, or they weren’t allowed to. And NOW, of all times, with a new and even more contagious variant circulating, is when people want to shut them down? Let’s just dispense with the make-them-pay-their-way nonsense. If I’m not mistaken the person who proposed that rate later tried to cut it in half, recognizing that it was excessive — but I don’t believe this is really about fairness. This is a way to force the restaurants to “choose” to do away with the outdoor seating by giving them a choice between losing money, and providing people with a safe dining option.

    It is both reckless and dishonest. We are better than this. Do away with the fee, or lower it to a reasonable level, which would be what those parking spaces are worth, not what the equivalent commercial square footage is worth. A square of asphalt is not a building, and a square of asphalt, not a building, is what the city is being denied use of while those structures remain up.

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    1. So reasonable charges you ask. Seattle charges between 18 and 27 per day per space to lock that space up. Plus other filing fees etc. So between roughly 600 and 900 per month. Plus labor charges and other fees. That’s 2400 to 3600 without any regular fees for 4 months.

      The math works.

      Agreed, COVID was a hell of a reason to create opportunities for business to survive, along with all of the other programs. Asking for a fair rate and a time boxed end isn’t bad.

      I cannot blame the businesses for asking for a lower rate, that’s what for profit businesses should be doing. Hell, they should argue that the value they bring should warrant no payments.

      This is awesome theater. I don’t have a dog in this hunt either way. I do have a financial interest, I don’t want to subsidize restaurants with tax dollars that could go to repaving a street or a few new sidewalks.

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      1. I disagree with the way you came up with those numbers, although your strategy makes more sense, with respect to Mr. Chen, than the current number.

        First, Edmonds isn’t Seattle; prices here are cheaper, though that seems to be less true lately. Second, renting something a month at a time is significantly cheaper than renting it by the day.

        I’d be very curious to hear what the monthly rate for a spot in one of our commercial lots here in town is. I could not find anything on that online. A person could find out with a phone call or two, though, and maybe this would be a good thing for one of our councilmembers to look into. THAT would at least give a reasonable base rate to work from, if we’re trying to get the restaurants to pay the full cost of what they are getting from the city.

        Of course, this ignores that the public has an interest in safe(r) spaces for people to eat in while there’s a pandemic going on. I’d argue, and I assure you I don’t own a restaurant here or anywhere else, that the city should eat some of that cost.

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        1. It’s not my call. The restaurants came out with 500 to 750 per month. So take the 750, and gonwith that. Obviously that was reasonable to them. They arevwell aware of the subsidy they have received. I am still waiting on that buy one get one meal free coupon to edmonds residents as a thank you for subsidizing their eateries via public property,.

          COVID has sucked for all of us. I agree with the safety aspects. One business type over another shouldn’t get preference. Can retailers put up outdoor shopping shacks? Can doctors and therapists put up outdoor treatment spaces? Can barbers and stylists put up outdoor styling salons?

          Again, I have no dog in this hunt except for the taxes I pay.

          I think the push here by both the restaurants and the current Mayor is to make this a permanent situation to create a relaxing hamlet on the Sound, and this test case or emergency situation is a slippery slope.

          I believe the science, but also believe in fiscal responsibility by government. That doesn’t mean giving away the farm.

          I don’t like the idea of a do over, I don’t like the idea of an appearance of impropriety by Mr. Chen requesting a special meeting when he was aware that one CM could not attend (it is not reflecting what he said in his first council meeting).

          At the end of the day, put up seafood shacks. I don’t believe they should be free. Contrary to popular belief, those spaces and streets cost all of us money to maintain. So do the meals in those local businesses. Until we start getting something for nothing, why should the restaurant owners?

          My popcorn is getting ready, bought a 12 pack of white claw, and just going to sit the rest of this one out. Next year is right around the corner. Darrol is right, take the fees and improve neglected areas outside of the Bowl.

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        2. @George No, all those other businesses can’t put up outdoor spaces because they don’t need the accommodation. I’ve seen this argument so many times and I find it curious that you don’t acknowledge the difference between the needs of a restaurant, where everyone needs to be unmasked to eat, and the needs of a store, where all shopping can and should happen with a mask.

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        3. @Wilder,

          I thought the purpose was public safety for those concerned. The shops in Edmonds are small! I suspect for the majority if you properly distance, you can let 2 customers in…

          So to be equitable and fair, shouldn’t they be allowed to have the extra capacity and space? Or do we just worry about folks who don’t feel safe eating.

          Masks are not fool proof and still require social distances. That further limits retail shops (compounded by parking limitations)..

          There isn’t a fair way or equitable WY to implement this program reposted by the fairness and equity police.

          I am cool with whatever, let them eat cake, or Mexican, or Seafood, or steak, or pub food.

          The citizens all know that it is subsidized, the restaurants like free stuff, and for me, it’s a money issue, not a preference issue.

          When I get a month off of property taxes (or a year off), then I’d feel better. My income sucked last year because of COIVD, I need a break too.

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        4. Wilder, I’ve seen this argument so many times and I find it curious that you don’t acknowledge that people don’t need streateries to dine outside safely. There are numerous restaurants downtown and elsewhere in Edmonds that offer outdoor dining on their own property, including most of the restaurants with the streateries who have tables alongside the fronts of their buildings and/or decks and patios that were there before streateries.

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  32. Now Mr. Chen wants to rejoin his Democratic Party Bloc pals and amend his own amendment. Totally amazing. Sad, but still with an element of bazarr fun entertainment. These clown show Council meetings are becoming must see TV on channel 21. I’ll believe DB’s prediction for a better political future for our poor little city when I see it. I’m begging what adults are left in the room to put this floundering system out of it’s misery as soon as possible and give us some good government for a change. Hope springs eternal.

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  33. This is the definition of machine politics. Chen is proving that a vote is merely an entry that can be reversed (it’s the accounting thing). I could honestly care less about the outdoor shacks. The folks who really feel at risk aren’t using them, the folks who aren’t worried are eating inside, and the rest of us get to watch the circus.

    If you’re going to use public property, after essentially getting a free pass for a year (for good reasons), and then bitch about fair prices, perhaps the local restraunteurs will give buy one get one meals to Edmonds residents. I am not discounting the value of their businesses, I am discounting their “for the greater good” attitude. It’s for their pockets. The greater spread the cost, the businesses keep the profits. If the struggle was purely humanitarian, Bar Dojo’s pork belly tacos would be a hell of a lot cheaper. It’s a profit motive. I cannot argue with that. Unfortunately, it’s similar to other profit based lobbying.

    Keep the shanties, just pay fair market price. It’s simple. After researching the cost of either square footage, private leased parking, or permits, the 3k to 4k range is more than fair.

    I guess the next question to ask is if any of the businesses are clients of Mr. Chen.

    The proverbial s#$% show.

    The popcorn is in the microwave, and I am just going to sit back and watch this one. January is right around the corner. I reckon we could have another 20 or so special meetings if they hurry.

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    1. Great comments Mr. Bennett. With you 100%. Grab a nice hot take with from Scotty’s Seafood Coach at 5 Corners, snag a cool one from the fridge that pairs well, and watch the show live and in color from the comfort of your easy chair. You can even call in as long as you are brief and not on the special staff prepared Mayor’s do not call on list. It’s all good.

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  34. I love the streateries, especially in the dark cold months. After being inside all day for work, it’s wonderful to eat outside with the heaters and it’s fun seeing people I know walking by. I want to support the businesses as much as possible and would be interested in their input. The current structures were meant to be temporary but if a permanent allowance were made, there is so much potential for creating a beautiful walkable area. I have had trouble finding parking a couple times but most of the time it’s just a matter of walking a block or two. Figuring out handicap access is important but otherwise I like the streateries.

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  35. What a meeting. Listening to Will Chen repeatedly say he felt uncomfortable, just to have three ladies continue to ply him, felt more uncomfortable. No means no.

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  36. Well I believe that “the fat lady has finally sung” with this issue – at least for 2021! We’re back to the end of last Thursday’s council meeting.

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    1. So, here’s a novel concept, use the recovery funds to offer 4k grants to all Edmonds businesses. The restaurants that cannot afford the 4k can leverage those funds to continue their street dining. Every other affected business will also have the opportunity to participate in those grants and also have assistance in an equitable way. I don’t know if that’s possible, but if it is, it’s certainly more equitable.

      I have repeatedly said I have no preference on the street sheds either way. It’s more about the real costs and the equitable use of public land. I love food. I love food in downtown as much as I love food in 5 corners and along 99. I love Edmonds thriving. Sure downtown is a draw, I wonder where the majority of our tax base comes from? I suspect it’s car dealers on 99. They are probably a bigger draw than food. Hell, Ranch Market is probably a bigger draw than downtown.

      There were many poignant and true comments from both sides of this discussion, all of them have merit and some of them were new points for me to consider. At the end of the day, it’s a longer term vision, a longer term plan, and a fair way to really show an equitable distribution of public funds and efforts to assist businesses during these trying times.

      If it don’t work, there’s a meeting every week where Council can change their minds and the approach. Much like COVID is dynamic, so are City decisions. If anything, we’ve learned that in the past year.

      Ignored

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