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Modifications are underway to the Santa Barbara downtown parklets to open a path for storm water runoff

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The dry weather is giving many downtown Santa Barbara business owners with an outside parklet time to comply with a recent city requirement to create a path for storm water runoff.

Work has been underway for some owners, since last weekend, ahead of a December 1 deadline.

The Santa Barbara City Council supported the change in September, but made this work a priority.

Saturday morning there were crews with construction equipment taking apart some parklets,  and others reshaping what was there.

They started working about 7:30 a.m.

At Night Lizard Brewing Company in the 600 block of State St., owner John Nasser took his parklet out, cleaned the street with a power washer and reinvented his outside dining area, without a wooden platform.

About 10 people were part of this project.

The area has planter boxes with chain connectors, and new furniture has been ordered.

" I just went with the option of going down to the street which has worked out  really nice.  It has a nice ramp here.  I can pick this up and  move it if the city wants  me to move it. And quite frankly it's clean," said Nasser.

Other workers were up the street at M. Special Brewing Company.

Owner Josh Ellis says the parklet is staying but a long wooden strip the length of the structure was removed and the wood underneath was taken out in that area to create a channel for the water.

The shape is about six inches high and the width may change slightly depending on the characteristics  of the street.   Most gutters are 16 to 18 inches wide on the apron area between the curb and the street surface.

At M. Special metal plates will be used as a cover.

With Night Lizard removing its railing, M. Special stepped up to take it over to its location and it will go right back to use there.

For now, while they understand the change requirement, they hope nothing else is coming anytime soon.

Ellis said, "I really would hope the next one doesn't come for a couple of years  because it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of energy and time."

For Nasser who is still putting the final touches on his outside area, he said, "we want to work with the city. We don't want it to change all the time.  So that we are constantly putting more money into it.  It is a nice place for our locals and tourists can come out and have a beer."

The modifications will also provide some examples of what can be done without rebuilding a full parklets with wood and metal again.

"So we have two models here now for the parklets and the businesses on State street to kind of take a look at and  see if either one will work for them," said Nasser.

Article Topic Follows: Business Matters

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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