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Hews Media Opinion Spurs Cerritos Mayor Into Action

Staff Report • July 15, 2020

An OP/ED by HMG Publisher Brian Hews has spurred Cerritos Mayor Naresh Solanki to act and streamline the city’s application process to allow outdoor dining in the city.

Hews had proposed the idea to allow restaurants to use the space in front of their establishment to Councilman Frank Yokoyama six weeks ago.

“With coronavirus cases surging, there are growing doubts that indoor dining and bar service will reopen anytime soon ,” said Hews.

“And what is Cerritos Mayor Solanki and Mayor pro tem Chuong Vo doing about it, they were busy trying to cut Cerritos school crossing guards, that is until last week when Solanki violated the Brown Act and suddenly became an advocate of the crossing guard budget, and busy voting to disband the Economic Development Commission, a political move meant to remove me from the commission.”

“Solanki and Vo are playing petty politics during an unprecedented time, not proposing any ideas to help the city recoup some of the tax dollars it is losing, shameful.”

Hews proposed that the city establish outside dining areas for restaurants, allowing them to put tables outside in front parking stalls and other areas.

“The city could purchase temporary overhead shelters and other equipment needed so the restaurant could serve people outside; they can charge the COVID-19 expense account and recoup the money later from the state,” said Hews.

Yokoyama brought it forward but it fell on the deaf ears of the City’s Republican majority of Solanki, Vo, and Bruce Barrows.

Since the time Hews proposed the idea, Santa Barbara has blocked off part of State Street for walking only; the promenade in Santa Monica has done the same thing; the city of Orange just established Orange Plaza Paseo, closing off the Orange Circle so people can dine alfresco.


The city sent out a release today:

Restaurant owners in Cerritos who would like to add an outdoor dining area can apply for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) from the City of Cerritos. During the COVID-19 local emergency, there will be no fee charged for the permit. City staff will evaluate the application to ensure that outdoor dining can be provided in a safe environment.

TUP applications are available on the City’s website at cerritos.us/BUSINESSES/planning_and_building_permits.php#planning.The application requires property owner and/or property management approval and will be processed by City staff within 48 hours. Applicants also must submit a site plan indicating the proposed location of the outdoor dining area, measures to protect the safety of restaurant patrons and verification that the configuration of tables and chairs does not impede pedestrian access and meets minimum clearances of 4 feet pursuant to ADA accessibility law.

Effective July 1 and until further notice, the L.A. County Department of Public Health has required the closure of restaurants for indoor dining. Outdoor dining, delivery and take-out are permitted.

For more information about applying for an outdoor dining area TUP, call the Community Development Department at (562) 916-1201.