In a few days Santa Barbara’s City Council will decide the future of outdoor dining in the city’s streets. I hope that they will do everything possible to make permanent outdoor dining in Santa Barbara. Those eating places and the Farmers Market are among the few reasons to even visit State Street. 

It has been such a difficult time for restaurants and small businesses and, despite some glitches, the city has been as helpful as possible in allowing restaurants to use public property in order for restaurants and cafes to survive. We owe them some gratitude. 

We, the public, have also benefited from the new outdoor dining because it is also pleasant to be outdoors in our beautiful climate.But now it seems that people are taking sides. It’s not about sides. It’s not about winning. It’s about having a common vision for State Street.

Please be patient and do not lose sight of a thriving street where locals and visitors alike can enjoy restaurants that are entertaining and attractive, and where small businesses can thrive because they are unique and visionary. 

Make sure not to lose State Street’s sense of place. There is a Southern California corporate generic “sameism” sneaking into the aesthetic of our town. Keep charm and intimate scale alive and well for Santa Barbara’s future.


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