Manhattan Beach extends outdoor dining program, will explore long-term program

The Manhattan Beach City Council unanimously voted to extend its temporary outdoor dining program Tuesday. The program will now continue through the city's local State of Emergency Order. This comes just one week after the city voted to end the program in the new year.

With Tuesday's vote, restaurants will be able to set up outdoor dining decks on public streets once again, but it will now cost them three times as much.  In addition to the extension, the council voted to increase the monthly fee for the decks from $1 per square foot to $3 per square foot. 

RELATED: Manhattan Beach to end restaurant outdoor dining decks on streets

The outdoor dining decks emerged across the city in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to help restaurants maintain their business and keep customers safe. Last week the city voted to end the program on Jan. 3, 2022, and give restaurants three days from then to remove their setups. Manhattan Beach Mayor Hildy Stern said in a press release that the reversal is a response to "the rapidly changing increase in the spread of COVID-19 and its public health threats," adding that extending the program will "continue providing a safer dining option for our community."

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Also during Tuesday's session, the city council directed staff to return in the new year, to begin the discussion on exploring a long-term outdoor dining program. According to the release, city officials will study impacts the programs have on traffic, sanitation and parking, and will consider input from the community as well.

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