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Proposed parklets at Open Sesame, Aroma di Roma head to City Council for final vote

On April 23, the council is expected to vote on proposals to add two new outdoor dining areas to the Second Street corridor in Belmont Shore.

Proposed parklets at Open Sesame, Aroma di Roma head to City Council for final vote
A small parklet, proposed by Aroma di Roma, would extend 98 square feet and take up one street parking space.

Two Belmont Shore businesses could get a green light to build two new parklet dining areas along the busy Second Street corridor when the City Council votes on their proposals next week.

The council will hold hearings at their April 23 meeting for the proposed parklets outside of two popular Belmont Shore eateries — Italian coffee shop Aroma di Roma and Lebanese restaurant Open Sesame.

Open Sesame is proposing the larger of the two installments: A 250-square-foot parklet large enough to seat an additional 17 guests. That parklet would take up two street parking spaces.

The smaller parklet, proposed by Aroma di Roma, would be just 98 square feet and would take up one street parking space. Both of the parklets would be required to include signs that states that the spaces are public and don’t require a purchase for people to sit there.

Council hearings that decide the fate of parklets are a new addition to the city’s municipal code. After initial approvals, that code also requires businesses to post a public notice of their proposed outdoor dining space. If there is any opposition, it triggers a council hearing.


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In this case, the Open Sesame proposal received 10 written statements opposing the project and 39 supporting it. The Aroma di Roma project received four statements opposing it and zero supporting it, according to city memos.

Parklets in the area have been a contentious topic with resident groups, who oppose them in part because of the parking spaces proposed parklets could take over. Residents have also raised quality-of-life issues like noise and accessibility issues for people in wheelchairs who already have trouble navigating the narrow sidewalks.

Some residents have also argued that the city’s permanent parklet program allows businesses to privatize public land. However, parklet owners do have to pay an annual fee to the city and purchase insurance for their expanded outdoor eating areas.

In the case of Belmont Shore parklets, owners are also required to replace lost revenue from metered spaces that became outdoor dining areas.

Earlier this year the council approved two parklets for Legends Sports Bar and Supply and Demand, a bar and a music venue located on Anaheim Street, in similar hearings.

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