Understanding that businesses and local government are in a very dynamic and fluid situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Paula city staff have been nimble to respond and make accommodations for its business community. This has included working directly with local businesses impacted by COVID-19 public health restrictions on indoor operations to help these businesses transition to outdoor spaces.
“We’re excited to be able to find creative ways to help businesses survive and thrive through these challenging times,” said Santa Paula Mayor Rick Araiza. “We hope that Santa Paula residents will take these new ways of dining out, shopping and receiving professional services in stride and look forward to experiencing our community in a whole new way.”
Effective July 13, 2020, the CDPH ordered the closure of indoor restaurants and dining establishments statewide along with additional closures in Ventura County and other counties on the state COVID-19 monitoring list impacting personal care services such as hair and nail salons and barber shops. The City of Santa Paula recognizes the challenges that these local businesses face while transitioning to outdoor operations and is committed to allow flexible commercial use of public and private outdoor spaces.
Therefore, in recent weeks, the City’s downtown area was transformed as part of the Tables on Main pilot program. Participating restaurants on Main Street between 8th Street and 10th Street have been allowed to expand their operations into the public right of way. This means that Santa Paula residents will find themselves dining out on the sidewalk and portions of the street, enjoying Southern California’s sunny skies and beautiful weather. Barricades and other traffic control devices will remain in place on Main Street for the duration of the program, and a temporary 15-mile-per-hour speed limit will be enforced in this area.
As the program continues to grow and evolve, the City is also looking to create a “city dining room” that will allow residents to enjoy their favorite meals in the downtown area after purchasing online and mobile to-go orders from their favorite restaurants. This public dining area would be shaded and located on Davis Street, which will remain closed for the foreseeable future between Main Street and North Alley to allow for additional open dining space.
To further assist Santa Paula businesses, the City has also been waiving fees for encroachment permits and working one-on-one with dozens of businesses to answer reopening questions and requests. When needed, city staff is also drafting more specific guidance and checklists for businesses to follow as they reopen. All Santa Paula businesses, however, must first register to reopen by completing the County of Ventura Business Attestation.
“Many Santa Paula businesses have already shown their resiliency and eagerness to continue to serve our community,” said Dan Singer, Santa Paula City Manager. “The City is dedicated to helping our local businesses and we would love to hear any ideas they may have about how we can continue to help facilitate them in serving their customers.”