AND THEN THERE WERE SIX.
As of Aug. 1, after 20 bars and restaurants in Belmont Shore had been deemed "feasible" for permanent parklets, just six are moving forward.
Sounds great, right?
Nope, not really.
Turns out that four more jumped on the free giveaway gravy train just days later. With more almost certain to come.
But there's no way for residents to keep track of the count. Because city officials aren't sharing the information regularly with residents, and usually only after pressure or a public records request.
There are no deadlines. It's an open-ended free-for-all now.
The temporary parklets were a backdoor to get permanent parklets. Clearly, we’re long past need. It’s now just greed.
These Second Street bars and restaurants are all in. They're having designs created, ramping up their hype, and bulldozing past your protests and concerns as neighbors.
And whatever they do now sets a precedent.
Because six on August 1 has already led to 10 a week later. And almost certainly more to come.
That's why it's urgent that residents act NOW.
For two-plus years Belmont Shore residents have been told by city leaders over and over again that temporary parklets were winding down. Four extensions later and two months after the last deadline, we're finally seeing many of the rickety, rundown structures removed. But the bars, restaurants and city leaders don't want you to get too comfortable seeing Second Street like it used to be, back when it was walkable and safe.
The most recent extension created a back door that allowed bars and restaurants to keep their temporary parklets as long as their permanent application is being processed.
These 10 bars and restaurants – Aroma Di Roma, @Sushi, George’s Greek Cafe, Goyen Sushi, La Creperie, Legends, Open Sesame, Rance's Pizza, Sushi Ai and Taco Shore — are choosing revenues over residents. They're betting on a future selling more drinks and appetizers to visitors on free land granted by the city while disregarding their community's quality of life. That's a choice.
Your choice as a resident is to draw a line. Right now.
Everything done to date – writing city council members, appearing at key meetings, adding your signature to our petition – has had an impact. Council members have met with us. Media coverage has ramped up. Vomitgate got big attention.
Numbers count. So, more than ever, multiplying petition signatures and expanding word-of-mouth are vital:
Sign the petition by clicking HERE.
Get five of your friends, family members and neighbors to sign the petition. Click HERE to go to the petition page, then share it.
Volunteer to help (phone calls, door knocking, events, etc.) by clicking HERE.