Drama over Edmonds streateries continues after councilmember walks out of session

Dec 21, 2021, 5:12 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

Edmonds streateries...

An Edmonds streatery. (MyNorthwest photo)

(MyNorthwest photo)

Restaurant seating continues in parking spots in Edmonds for now, after a special session of the city council was called on a technicality.

‘Streateries’ will live on in Edmonds, for a fee

Only four of the seven councilmembers attended the Monday evening session to listen to testimony and vote on the fate of the streateries. After hearing the testimony, councilmember Will Chen walked out, leaving them without a quorum. This prompted the four councilmembers to adjourn.

The other members in attendance appeared to favor a compromise of charging businesses with streateries $1,000 per parking space, to be paid either in a lump sum or installments by May 1, 2022. That would significantly lower the previous request that business owners pay $4,000 per month, per space.

Last week, Edmonds City Council extended the period businesses can have streateries set up in public parking spaces through April 2022, but the move came with a caveat in the form of the hefty $4,000 fee.

At the time, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson called the decision “shameful,” stating how the “highest permit fee in the nation” would harm “the small businesses that were hurt the most.”

Seattle’s street dining is here to stay — at least for a while

Councilmembers in favor of the fee — which Chen had originally proposed — said it was only fair when the businesses are continuing to take up public parking spaces, potentially from other customers. Conversely, Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas called it “elitist” to expect struggling mom-and-pop businesses to be able to afford the fee.

In all, the council had decided that $4,000 was the fair value of two parking spots for three months. The hope with Monday’s special session was to figure out a way to reduce that fee while still accounting for businesses occupying valuable parking space.

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Drama over Edmonds streateries continues after councilmember walks out of session