Laguna Beach logoTuesday, May 26, as part of its economic recovery and business development plan to assist businesses with economic impacts related to COVID-19, the Laguna Beach City Council moved forward with a pilot program to close Lower Forest Avenue during summer of 2020 to create The Promenade on Forest, an outdoor pedestrian shopping and dining promenade integrated with local artists’ work.

The Promenade on Forest is an outdoor dining, display and art performance area slated to open on June 15, 2020, and will create a safe and exciting pedestrian-only experience on Forest Avenue from Coast Highway to Glenneyre Street throughout the Summer of 2020. The Promenade will support local businesses by expanding customer seating and merchandise display areas into the street, provide opportunities to engage local artists to display their work while strengthening community spirit.

The Promenade on Forest Key Features:

  • Three dining decks, three retail display decks, and one performance art deck for virtual and
    live performances;
  • Layout design to promote 6-feet of safe physical distancing between parties;
  • Operates daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.;
  • Bistro string lighting to illuminate the Promenade and provide evening ambiance and security, while additional umbrellas and tree planters will provide daytime shade;
  • Several hand-washing stations and hand sanitizing stations provided, as well as maintenance staff on-site to regularly disinfect furniture;
  • Temporary art installations.

“The Promenade on Forest pilot program seeks to create an environment that allows for public social
interactions with family and friends from a physical distance, while allowing local businesses to
reopen safely,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Laguna Beach Assistant City Manager.

City Council Streamlines Temporary Use Permit Process for Restaurants and Businesses

The Council also streamlined the City’s Temporary Use Permit (TUP) process to support Laguna Beach business owners pursuing outdoor dining, signage and the outdoor display of merchandise. The City will waive all Temporary Use Permit fees through September 7, 2020. Any Laguna Beach restaurant interested in outdoor dining or retail business wishing to display merchandise outdoors may submit a no-cost Temporary Use Permit (TUP) application to the City’s Community Development Department with a plan for how they will lay out a space that accommodates customers and meet physical distancing guidelines. This program is only available to businesses that currently operate from a fixed location within the City.

Click HERE for a complete description and conditions of the accelerated TUP program. Restaurants with a liquor licenses must obtain approval from the State Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) to serve alcohol in an outdoor area. Temporary outdoor signage will also be allowed for 60 days for businesses owners that apply for TUPs.

“Normally restaurant operators and businesses are required to go through a lengthy permit process including a public hearing with the Planning Commission,” said Marc Wiener, Director of Community Development. “Under the new streamlined TUP process approved by the City Council Tuesday, restaurant and business owners can now file applications directly with the Community Development Department and receive approved applications within a matter of days.” The TUPs will be valid until September 7, 2020.

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) requires  (OC Health Care Order) all business owners and operators who meet Stage 2 reopening criteria, review the State’s guidance and do the following:

  • Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan.
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them.
  • Implement individual control measures, screenings, physical distancing and disinfecting protocols and post the industry-specific checklist in their workplaces.
  • All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face-covering when (i) in a public place; (ii) visiting a retail, commercial or other place of business; or (iii) at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or live in the same living unit.

Guidance for shopping centers is here.
Guidance for dine-in restaurants is here.
Guidance for other industries is here.