Hermosa Beach aims to reduce parking requirements to aid downtown businesses

The parking lot at the old Mermaid restaurant (and more recently Slater’s 50/50) is being resurfaced in cobblestone in preparation for a new restaurant and expanded outdoor dining. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Dan Blackburn

Changes to the Hermosa Beach parking code that proponents say will help small retailers and outdoor dining were unanimously agreed upon by the Planning Commission Tuesday night. The  proposed changes require City Council approval.

Hermosa Beach Community Development Director Ken Robertson called the proposals “an effort to update restrictive and outdated parking requirements that are not consistent with today’s transportations options and choices.”

He added, “We want to help meet the goal of pedestrian-oriented commercial districts…. Parking requirements that demand on-site parking for re-use of existing buildings and small expansions have been a constraint on the types of ground floor commercial investments and projects that are vital to walkable commercial districts.”

One proposed change would allow a change of use to a more intensive use without requiring additional parking, provided there is no more than a 10 percent increase in the building’s square footage.

The changes do not apply to late-night and alcohol-serving establishments.

The effort to exempt small commercial establishments from parking requirements centers around a recommendation to no longer require parking for the first 5,000 square feet of ground floor, nonresidential uses.

Again, this will not apply for alcohol-serving locations.

Outdoor dining, including roof-top dining, would not require additional parking for the first 400 square feet, under the proposed changes. Restaurants would be allowed to serve the same food and beverages outdoors that are provided indoors. ER




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