Santa Barbara City Council denies parklet suspension appeals
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-The owners and operators of half a dozen parklets appealed their suspensions of authorization to operate and maintain their outdoor business facilities.
Only one of the parklets is located on State Street.
The Santa Barbara City Council listened to several of them explain mitigating circumstances that delayed their Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for things including ramps and tables.
Nevertheless, the majority of the council members voted in favor of motions denying those appeals.
One of denials that was not unanimous was for Trattoria Vittoria on East Victoria St.
The other appeals were made on behalf of Taza Restaurant at 413 State St., Ca'Dario Restaurant at 37 East Victoria St., Folded Hills Winery at 1294 Coast Village Rd., Courthouse Tavern at 129 East Anapamu St., and Foxtail Kitchen and Bar at 14 East Cota St.
All the appears were denied on Tuesday afternoon.
The general manager of the family owned Trattoria Vittoria had 3 minutes to make her case.
Vittoria Comin talked about how her grandparents retired and that ownership squabbles among her relatives delayed them from building a compliant ramp and accessible table.
She also said a bartender received one of the notices.
She said they have already paid the fines, but had hoped to keep the parklet intact.
"The fines were already administered before, I don't think we will have anything additional, "said Comin, " It is mainly the cost to have to remove that parklet and just throwing all the money away that went into putting and making it nice in the first place, so that will be unfortunate."
Her relatives said after they missed the compliance deadline they spent about $3,000 to make their parklet compliant.
Councilmembers Oscar Guitierrez and Mike Jordan voted against denying their appeal.
The winery parklet near roundabout construction on Coast Village Road has already been taken down.
Mayor Randy Rowse said ADA compliance is the law and city staff did what they were asked to do when they inspected parklets.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is enforced from minute one, it is not something you can give grace on or kind of come back, it is something that has to be compliant with every minute of the day. These are unusual because these structures went up, not really engineered, not really permitted, they were just put up because of the COVID emergency.," said Rowse, "Do they kind of have to play catch up with the ADA rules which are very arcane, complicated, sometimes very, very touchy, but they are the law, so we don't really have an option to not enforce ADA law."
Comin said their parklet has been lucrative for her family and the city.
They plan to talk with their lawyers about the next course of action.
She said they will be interested in building a new parklet at a later date with the city's approval.