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Manhattan Beach City Council to Vote on Opening Gyms, Restaurants, Salons in Cities Meeting Specific Criteria

May 25, 2020 12:06PM ● By Liz Spear
The Manhattan Beach City Council will hold a "Special Meeting" today (Monday, May 25) at 1:30 p.m. to vote on two COVID-19 related matters and the re-opening of more businesses in the city and South Bay. (Learn how you can participate in today's meeting and make comments or speak near the end of this article.)

Last Thursday, the council voted unanimously 5-0 to eliminate the curbside pick-up only requirement for businesses in MB, paving the way for retail businesses, particularly in downtown MB, to fully open for the Memorial Day weekend.

That vote came on the heels of a public rally outside MB City Hall in support of allowing businesses to re-open, saying that MB's COVID-19 statistics supported doing so. They made two additional points: that small businesses needed to re-open to keep from going out of business and that Big Box retailers like Target were enjoying an unfair retail advantage by being deemed "essential" and being allowed to remain open while selling more than groceries.

Things have been moving quickly in MB to re-open.

Prior to council's Thursday vote, last week on Wednesday, two members of City Council personally delivered a letter to Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn asking for retail businesses in Manhattan Beach to be allowed to fully reopen before the Memorial Day weekend under the same health protocols that “essential” retail businesses have been allowed to operate under.

Then, at their council meeting Thursday morning last week, Mayor Richard Montgomery reported that Supervisor Hahn had reacted favorably to council's letter and was sending a letter to Gov. Newsom to appeal for businesses in MB and LA County to re-open should they meet certain criteria. Hahn even tweeted about it.

Today's MB City Council meeting will determine to what extent council will push legislatively for businesses in the city to re-open. A partial variance is one mechanism that could work to further the cause of all businesses opening and council is considering whether or not they will ask Hahn, via letter, to support "a partial variance" for cities within the county to re-open gyms, restaurants, hair and nail salons, and other businesses still shuttered by the state's COVID-19 health restrictions.

The second letter, if voted for, will be sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors "advocating for South Bay businesses and restaurants to re-open under State and County phase 3 guidelines."

Related Article: Council Member Plans 'Yes' Vote on Businesses Re-Opening in the City.

The Board of Supervisors is holding a Live Virtual Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 9:30 a.m. Here is the link to the live broadcast.

Supervisors Hahn and Kathryn Barger have a motion that outlines the suggested criteria that allows a city to open businesses, discusses the diverse cities in LA County, and other notable issues.

Their motion reads in part: "As the largest driver of the State’s economy, the once thriving Los Angeles County economic health must be restored while simultaneously maintaining and preserving the health and safety of our residents. Current economic projections paint a dire picture. There have already been over one million unemployment claims in Los Angeles County since mid-March. Furthermore, experts predict that over 750,000 jobs will be lost from the retail and food-service industries alone, and that 75% of the total jobs lost will be those earning $50,000 or less."

The motion also reads: "Several cities in the County have expressed interest in a city or regional variance. All cities who believe they meet the state’s variance criteria, and wish to be considered for a partial variance, should send their request initially to the County’s Chief Executive Officer for submission to the County’s Public Health Officer. Such submissions may include the surrounding unincorporated areas with concurrence from the respective County Supervisor."

Today's City Council Meeting Details for Attending and Commenting

Members of the public who wish to address city council may do by submitting comments in advance of the meeting, no later than 1 p.m. via:

All comments provided by the 1 p.m. deadline today will be available to city council and the public prior to the meeting.

City council's meetings are held via Zoom to comply with Governor Gavin Newsom's Executive Order.

Members of the public who'd like to participate in today's meeting may do so by joining Zoom during the meeting. If you wish to speak on any item on the agenda, register in advance by clicking the following link:

To join the Zoom meeting via the internet, visit; The meeting ID is 957-9443-1091.

During the meeting you will need to use the “raise hand” button through Zoom at the time the Mayor invites the public to provide comments.

If you'd like to join the Zoom meeting via phone conference (you participate via voice only), the phone number is (669) 900-6833, and the meeting ID is 957-9443-1091.

During the meeting you will need to enter *9 on the phone’s dial pad at the time the Mayor invites the public to provide comments.

Each speaker may address council and the public for up to 2 minutes on each general business item. The two letters being voted on today are one General Business item.

Other ways to watch city council meetings, which are broadcast live:

Today's City Council Agenda

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