City: Temporary outdoor dining not set for ‘abrupt closure’

Restaurant guests enjoy an outdoor dining experience at Olive Terrace in Valencia Monday afternoon. November 23, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Santa Clarita restaurants may be able to keep temporary outdoor dining setups past the state’s full reopening next week, city of Santa Clarita officials announced Monday.

City officials had previously said the continuance of the city’s Eat Local program — which issued free temporary-use permits allowing restaurants to convert parking lots, street parking and sidewalks into outdoor seating — past the state’s June 15 reopening would depend on the state’s health order. Officials had said Friday that, if 100% indoor occupancy was allowed at restaurants, the city program would end.

While the city is still set to continue to assess the health orders and possible modifications to the outdoor dining program, a statement released Monday said the city will continue to work with local restaurants who have been granted temporary use permits, and there will not be an abrupt closure of outdoor dining.

Instead, the city plans to work with local restaurants on a reasonable transition schedule, the statement continued.

Old Town Junction co-owner and executive chef Daniel Otto called the announcement great news.

“I hope that the city can align themselves with other counties that are allowing their individual businesses to stay open past the 15th … and committed to their small businesses to do so until end of 2021 and into 2022,” Otto added. “(Doing so will) help us manage to stay open after all we’ve been through the past 15 months.”

Jason Crawford, the city’s planning manager, previously told The Signal that extending the city’s program, if the state’s health order allows for 100% indoor occupancy, would require action by the Santa Clarita City Council. 

The city continues to support local businesses through its Shop Local Eat Local campaigns. For more information, visit 

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