Photo by Grace Inez Adams

Gone: Local businesses that chose not to enroll in the new permanent Santa Monica Outdoors parklet program closed up their parklets on Friday, ushering in a new era for the popular outdoor use program that sprang up during COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.

The City of Santa Monica has spent the past several months working to codify a slap-dash temporary outdoor ordinance that allowed restaurants and other businesses like gyms and salons to set up shop on parking spaces in commercial districts including Main Street. 

Changes that will make the program permanent will also impose fees on businesses that had enjoyed the fee-free model up to this point, including a one-time wastewater fee of more than $1,300 per additional seat. City staff said about 70 businesses enrolled in the permanent program; those that did not enroll had to clear their parklet spaces by Sept. 30.