Op-Ed: It’s time to give back the free real estate

By Peter Clark

Isn’t it time for the bars and restaurants to give back the free real estate to the city and the taxpayers who own it.

The so-called “pent up demand” has dissipated. The photos attached show business on Friday night (about 10:30pm) and Sunday Funday (about 5:00pm). There is plenty of unused capacity both within and outside of the venues.
Some businesses are remaining closed for business on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays because they can make up the revenue on the weekend utilizing this free real estate. This causes less employment on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, while creating more chaos on the weekend.

This is at the expense of hundreds of citywide lost parking meter spaces, unfair disability access to sidewalks (while also having to navigate discarded scooters), not being able to drive on Robertson Blvd. for 36 hours per week (including tens of thousands of dollars in parking enforcement personneltime), and go-go boxes on the sidewalk (on the corner of Rocco’s). More venues are finishing their new build-outs which will add even more capacity once completed. They would not be doing this if their business plans did not support the additional compensation. Is the use of extra free real estate a part of their business plans?

The taxpayers/owners of West Hollywood have been supportive in getting businesses active again, however in exchange we have received higher prices at those bar/restaurant venues, less parking, more traffic and the loss of typical enjoyment of life types of benefits. Have we thrown away all important zoning requirements that the city has developed?

Without supervisionand rules that are fair to everyone, it will always be the case to abuse the situation. Rocco’s has installed the equivalentof a corner billboard during Pride month without typical billboard permission and they are hopeful that it will remain “under the radar” forever because they hope that some of councilmembers will think that it looks cute. After all, isn’t it easier to ask forgivenessthan permission.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

21 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John K
John K
1 month ago

I could not disagree more. These spaces have often quite literally saved some restaurants from going out of business. I also feel these spaces have brought a refreshing change in street life throughout WeHo. Parking spaces vs people spaces? Never!!

Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
24 days ago
Reply to  John K

If no pandemic occurred, but some experienced people on CITY PLANNING BOARD came up with a similar outdoor night time space as we now see … It would always be filled and bring a festive communism safer experience for the nightlife of WeHo

People always like sitting outside if restaurants have a few tables.

But if the author is so upset, YOU FIRST, GIVE BACK YOUR PROPERTY AND SIDEWALKS BACK TO THE CITY

Nonsense.

C.R.
C.R.
2 months ago

Well with masks now required indoors again in the county, I guess we’re gonna be needing those outside bar and restaurant spaces to stay right where they are, eh? We wasted all that time getting worked up to get rid of them too soon. Oh well.

Randy
Randy
2 months ago

I think it’s important to consider that local businesses made an investment in this outdoor space. Which is why so many people were upset, when everything got shut down last November, right after some of these businesses had just built their outdoor space. And some of them were in the hole, going months with no business. And a lease to pay. And other expenses. I think the city should let them have this, until around the holidays, when the weather starts to cool down. Let them have the Summer and the Fall, for their economic recovery.

Jason
Jason
2 months ago

I like the outdoor dining spaces. Reminds me a bit of Italy. They do dining right over there. It’s an hours-long dramatic production that goes well into the night. We’re obsessed with cars over here.

Reality
Reality
2 months ago

Even prior to the pandemic, West Hollywood had a penchant for a flea market/souk atmosphere. Time to clear out the temporary shanties, power was ALL the sidewalks and at least offer a fresh, dignified appearance with the brick & mortar businesses. Simple & clean is superior to crude, crummy and tacky. While that is happening, eliminate all the “murals” that the city arts committee has endorsed as ART. It’s graffiti, plain and simple.

JJ1
JJ1
2 months ago
Reply to  Reality

yes, Yes, YES!!!!!

Mecurial Mike
Mecurial Mike
2 months ago

The Abbey was selling booze on the falling apart Robertson Street and their bottle price for scotch was $400. The Unisex Toilet advocates were falling all over themselves to speak with the owner to get his pay for play okay. Especially, Lindsey “Tracey Flick” Horvath, the 39 year-old mayor!

Dine inside, who wants to inhale the fumes from the street.

This isn’t Paris, Santa Monica Blvd. has all the style of a strip mall found in East Cleveland or Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago
Reply to  Mecurial Mike

You seem pretty unhappy living here. Maybe consider living somewhere else? Could be beneficial to your attitude and health 🙂

Jeffery aubel
Jeffery aubel
2 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Word

Scott
Scott
2 months ago

Yes, would much rather see more sidewalk space taken up by the sale of cheap merchandise instead, like at Bloc Party! Empty tables and chairs are far more appealing to look at than more cars. Generally agree about the scooters though!

Matthew Flanagan
Matthew Flanagan
2 months ago

I think minding your own business is a good start. The last thing we need is another “opinion”

hifi5000
hifi5000
2 months ago

When the pandemic first started,there was a lot of talk about outdoor dining to save the bars and restaurants in the city.This arrangement was successful,but now that conditions are returning to a sense of normal,I think the return of sidewalk space to pedestrians are in order. For myself,I didn’t care for the makeshift spaces as you had to put up with the auto noise and exhaust fumes.Conversations had to be louder and anyone could walk up to interrupt the talking.If it got windy,you had to hold your drinks tightly with flying napkins. Instead of a quieter sidewalk,you were next to… Read more »

Jason
Jason
2 months ago

Once back to normal, can the city PLEASE power wash the sidewalks??

EwJason
EwJason
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason

That may require an increase to the parking meter fees. Oh wait…

SeeMe
SeeMe
2 months ago

In fairness, the haphazard set-up of these outdoors spaces was due to desperation from these business to somehow remain open during the pandemic. Now that everything has returned to full-capacity, perhaps there can be a more practical and appealing way to continue expanded dining/drinking. Rather than closing it down, why don’t we give some of these businesses an opportunity to make the money back they lost so they can work with the city in establishing new rules about outdoor dining.

John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
2 months ago

Maybe the free real estate will inhibit the Scooter craze.

Stephen
Stephen
2 months ago

Bingo. The minute we free up those sidewalks they’ll just become an e-scooter highway – and daily injuries (and deaths) will follow.

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

0
0
votes
Article Rating
21
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x