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By Jorge Casuso
November 15, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday extended emergency ordinances that ban fast food restaurants on the Promenade and set standards for the demolition of potential landmarks.
The Promenade ordinance is the third such ban granted while the City explores ways to transform the popular strip ("'Bold' Plan to Transform the Promenade Gets Go-Ahead from Council," November 7, 2019).
By preventing the proliferation of fast food restaurants, the emergency measure helps "ensure that the Promenade maintains its authentic character and provides visitors with a distinctive experience not found in most downtown shopping districts."
The ordinance defines "fast food restaurants" as establishments that have more than 100 locations and take orders at a walk-up window, counter or machine, according to staff.
Such restaurants also collect payment before serving and use throw-away wrapping, containers or utensils.
The limits do not apply to food halls unless the establishment meets the definition of fast food restaurant, which limits large chains.
The council extended for another year the current emergency ordinance set to expire on November 26.
Fast food restaurants would continue to be allowed in all other zones citywide, staff said.
In a separate action Tuesday, the Council extended an emergency interim ordinance that sets temporary regulations for the demolition permit review process "relating to the preservation of historic resources."
The ordinance applies to the demolition process "for buildings that are more than 40 years old and the property owner’s concurrent request for a ruling on the historic status of the property," staff said.
The ordinance provides "a consistent review process for both property owners and members of the public" to "safeguard the City’s historic, aesthetic and cultural heritage while also balancing legal and procedural considerations."
The ordinance, which was set to expire Wednesday, does not change the procedures or timeframes set forth in the Landmarks and Historic Districts Ordinance, staff said.
The two-year extension approved by the Council gives City staff and the Landmarks Commission time to complete the Landmarks Ordinance update before the scheduled fall 2021 completion date.
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