Riviera Village Dining Deck Program
The City has been actively engaged with the Riviera Village Business Improvement District (BID) and local Village merchants in enhancing the built environment and aesthetics of the area, with the key objective of promoting outdoor dining. At its September 15, 2015 meeting, the City Council approved moving forward with a dining deck program. Dining decks are newer concepts whereby a small number of parking spaces immediately adjacent to a food-serving business are converted for customer use. The construction of a dining deck consists of installing a raised platform within parking stalls which elevates the surface to be flush with the sidewalk grade. Decorative and protective landscape containers are utilized to ensure user safety. An area such as the Riviera Village with high pedestrian activity, slower vehicle speeds, and an abundance of food serving establishments is ideal to test the concept for Redondo Beach.
We have received several inquiries about the new Dining Deck along Catalina Avenue in the Riviera Village. Provided below are answers to some of the more frequent questions:
- What safety measures are in place to protect customers from vehicles while dining outside at Rebel Republic?
Safety is an important consideration in street or dining decks. The pilot project deck at Rebel Republic may look like wood, but the wood is encasing standard concrete freeway “K-Rails” that are securely fastened together and anchored into the pavement. You may have also noticed the new edge-striping in the street. This provides motorists a visual indicator of the correct driving lane position.
- Which businesses are eligible for the Pilot Program, how were they selected and if a business selected to be in the Pilot Program decides not to invest in the infrastructure, etc. then can other businesses take their place?
As reported to the City Council on September 15, 2015 the City had identified two likely locations for pilot projects occupying approximately 3-4 parking stalls. The first location at Rebel Republic was advanced due to the owner's willingness to invest $20,000 -$30,000 in streetscape and frontage improvements and the ability to provide suitable replacement of public parking (3 stalls) until such time as nearby on street parking could be added. The second location was tentatively determined to be in proximity to Zazou's due to the presence of an existing "bulb-out" (curbed landscape planter in the street) which would provide significant protection of any deck installation. The City has not initiated discussions on the development of that additional installation and is are certainly open to discussing other options while we collect information on the existing installation.
- How did Rebel Republic get approved to eliminate 3-4 parking spaces and/or where were they relocated to? Is the city losing parking revenue from those spaces or is Rebel Republic reimbursing the city for the lost parking revenue?
As stated above the pilot deck occupies 3 parking stalls and the business owner has been required to provide public use of three parking stalls within either of the two private parking lots that they own, control and manage until such time as permanent replacement parking is installed. The City has already identified at least 3-4 new spaces that can be added and these spaces will be equipped with parking meters.
- Is the city charging rent and/or other fees for the public areas being utilized for outdoor dining?
The current pilot project was required to pay permit fees totaling approximately $1,000 and invest approximately $20,000-$30,000 in public improvements along the street frontage. The temporary permit includes a provision that annual permit fees may be charged after the initial 12 month trial period. A fee study will be presented to the City Council along with detailed recommendations for a permanent program during the trial period.
- How long is the Pilot Program, what will determine if it is a success and if deemed a success then what will the plan be to make outdoor dining available similarly to the Rebel Republic?
The pilot program is anticipated to be conducted for a 12 month period. Evaluation of the program effectiveness will be ongoing throughout this period and recommendations for a permanent program will be developed based on this evaluation. The requirements for future installations will be determined by the City Council.
- Does the city plan to narrow Catalina Ave in the Riviera Village and/or convert it to a 1-way street to better encourage outdoor dining?
The City Council adopted a Strategic Plan objective to evaluate the feasibility of converting Catalina Avenue between Avenue I and Elena to a one-way street by September 15, 2016. While the exact design of any reconfiguration has not been determined, it is anticipated that such a plan would significantly enhance outdoor dining opportunities.