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Many parklets and patios could be cut back in the Santa Barbara promenade by early March

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Many of the parklet and patios in Santa Barbara's popular promenade could be cut back by early March.

The Santa Barbara City Council has been asked to make the changes to meet the requirements of the fire code. The Santa Barbara City Fire Department says it needs 20-feet down the middle of the street in the area where they only have a space of 14 and a half feet. That measurement was decided early on when the promenade was quickly put together as a COVID economic recovery decision in early 2020.

At that time the fire department was comfortable with the width.

As the promenade is being considered for a longer term concept, the safety concerns for the fire department access have come into the conversation.

There are about 25 sites that will need to be altered.

Special markings are already on the ground to show where the cuts would have to be made.

This will cost the businesses tables, chairs, and space for heaters.

The city is also being asked to consider making the parklets portable. That will allow space and time to have parades and cleaning.

There's also a consideration about over hanging items such as light strands and wires. The city also says it needs a overhead clearance of 13 feet six inches.

The city's ladder truck for example with a 104 foot ladder for high rise uses, needs space on each side for stabilizes known as outriggers, that pull out.

The city has had incidents with these spacing needs and says during large scale emergencies more than 10 pieces of equipment would be needed.

Three specific buildings will need the ladder truck to be as close as possible for it to be extended completely to the top of the structure, or close to it. They are, 735 State St. (The Balboa Building), 1214 State St. (The Granada Building), and 820 State Street.

The city is also asking for streets with one way traffic now, including the first block of West Victoria, 1300 State Street and two streets in the Funk Zone to hae two way traffic again.

The city ordinance committee and the full council are discussing the matter.

Many business owners will be speaking about the promenade designs, changes and its future when the issue is discussed Tuesday.

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John Palminteri

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

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