Belmont considering outdoor dining program

Belmont considering outdoor dining program

in Community

Belmont City Council is exploring installing an outdoor dining program for its city, given the success of pandemic-era programs in communities within the County, state and nation.

At its July 13 meeting, staff was directed to return to Council in an upcoming meeting with options for an outdoor dining program.

Amid indoor capacity restrictions imposed during the pandemic, cities including San Carlos and San Mateo began allowing restaurants to serve customers in public outdoor spaces such as parking spots in order to support them economically.

While Belmont doesn’t have a centralized downtown like San Carlos and San Mateo, where some streets have been closed to enable safe outdoor dining, the city should explore “creative, but safe solutions, including, but not limited to, parklets, sidewalk dining, and parking lot dining,” according to Mayor Charles Stone and Councilmember Davina Hurt, who brought the proposal to Council.

“We are aware that there will likely be challenges in some locations, however, the goal of bringing this forward would be to fully explore where outdoor dining can work in the future and provide our local restaurants with some clarity as to how outdoor dining can work in Belmont,” Stone and Hurt state in their proposal.

They received unanimous support from Council colleagues to direct staff on looking into options.

“Our climate here is so conducive to outdoor venues,” Councilmember Tom McCune said. “if we have smaller scale, limited opportunities to take advantage of the climate and help our hospitality venues, by all means we should do so.”

Added Hurt, “As we transition to turning back to business as youth, how do we build back better?…I just want for us to think deeply about this, and think about how we can benefit at looking at our public realm in a different way.”