Our city is famous for its weird red tape (why is street vending still illegal?), but a pilot program may be the first step in making it a lot easier and cheaper for Los Angeles restaurants to introduce sidewalk dining (it's only one of the best cities in the world for it, duh). The City Council passed a motion this week that will create a sidewalk dining pilot program in the Historic Core; permit fees will be slashed from nearly $2,000 to $580 and what is sometimes year-long process will be reduced to just one day (!)--the Bureau of Engineering will be allowed to issue sidewalk dining permits the same day they receive a request, without visiting the restaurant. (The BOE plans on using new sketches, measurements, and Google Earth to help.) Eventually the new rules could be expanded to the rest of the city.
· City Approves Pilot Program to Simplify Downtown Sidewalk Dining Permits [DN]