Council goals to extend vacancies

BY KYLE MARTIN
Day by day newspaper editor

The slow-growing majority of Palo Alto metropolis council final evening handed an ordinance painstakingly increasing the zoning of some retail companies, however they eliminated elements of the ordinance that might have garnered help from throughout the nation. alley of the council.

The council voted 5-2 to approve an ordinance that expands sure alternatives for retail and retail companies, resembling nail salons and barber outlets, to open in downtown Palo Alto and alongside California Avenue.

The ordinance removes the necessity for these companies, in addition to different magnificence parlors and laundromats, to acquire a conditional use allow from town earlier than opening on the road.

The ordinance is aimed toward tackling a wave of storefront vacancies which might be hitting town’s buying areas because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However supporters of the slow-growing council have minimize some choices for companies like gyms, nail salons, hairdressers and different magnificence parlors to open on California Avenue – which eliminated help from councilor Alison Cormack and Councilor Greg Tanaka, who stated the shops may gain advantage town.

Deputy Mayor Pat Burt proposed eradicating elements of the ordinance that might permit gyms and sweetness parlors to open alongside California Avenue as a result of “I believe the road dealing with the road ought to actually be an actual enterprise. element”.

“I believe it was a mistake to permit a proliferation of gyms on (California Avenue), or private providers, however these new gyms are categorized,” Burt stated. “They do not actually add to the retail atmosphere wherein we wish to entice a vital mass of retail shops, walk-in shops and the like.”

He put ahead a movement to alter the proposal as such and acquired help from Mayor Tom DuBois and council members Greer Stone, Lydia Kou and Eric Filseth – all of whom make up the sluggish rising, Residential-backed faction that controls the board after final November. election.

Cormack – who alongside Tanaka is the council’s pro-development minority – informed the council she wished to maintain the zoning adjustments for gyms, magnificence parlors and the like as a result of “individuals purchase much less stuff. and extra providers ”.

Gyms and sweetness parlors can be helpful for residents, particularly ladies, she stated.

“I am not focused on discouraging gyms and nail salons, that are largely frequented by ladies, from not being seen. We talked quite a bit final 12 months about how this can be a time when now we have to attempt issues, ”Cormack stated. “I believe as individuals transfer from shopping for merchandise to purchasing providers, I believe it could be clever to just accept that.”

Cormack stated she wouldn’t help Burt’s movement to take away the exceptions from the ordinance for these shops as a result of Burt’s movement “was too restrictive.”

She was joined by Tanaka, who was additionally a dissenter towards exclusions from gyms and sweetness parlors.

Tanaka stated town ought to monitor storefront emptiness charges throughout Palo Alto.

“It truly seems somewhat scary, in my thoughts since you see individuals shutting down left and proper. So I believe it will likely be actually necessary for us to supply flexibility, ”Tanaka stated.

“I believe a emptiness can be worse for our downtown space than having one thing that possibly is not as ultimate however can nonetheless present that foot visitors,” Tanaka stated. “I believe if we hit a tipping level the place there are a number of vacancies, it type of loses the flywheel the place pedestrian visitors enters downtown after which it is exhausting for everybody to ‘get there. And I am truly somewhat anxious that we’re already at this level.


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