L.A. City Council Slashes Fees for Sidewalk Dining Downtown

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to slash fees businesses pay to offer sidewalk dining in downtown's historic core and to speed up the turnaround time for all permits citywide.

The council voted 15-0 to create a two-year pilot program and cut sidewalk chair-and-table permit costs from $1,926-$6,000 to $578.

Downtown's historic core is bounded by Broadway and Los Angeles streets and First and Seventh streets.

Formerly, sidewalk permits cost restaurateurs $1,926, or as much as $6,000 if city officials write up a Board of Public Works report.

City Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes the Historic Core, said the program will make city streets more pedestrian friendly.

Under the program, business operators citywide should be able to get permits the same day they apply for them. It had taken up to a year to get some permits approved.

City inspectors will no longer be required to make in-person visits to cafes with sidewalk tables, and that should save city costs, Huizar said. City employees will use tools such as Google Maps to locations where business owners want sidewalk dining.

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