Huntington Beach

2nd block of Main stays closed

MAIN STREET in downtown Huntington Beach (Flickr/Dan Lund).

A divided city council narrowly approved keeping the second block of Huntington Beach’s Main Street closed to vehicular traffic for another two months.

At the final meeting of 2020, the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday voted 4-3 to continue the temporary closure through Feb. 28. The vote was Mayor Kim Carr and councilmembers Tito Ortiz, Natalie Moser and Erik Peterson in favor, with Dan Kalmick, Mike Posey and Barbara Delgleize opposed.

The council’s decision came in place of a proposal to continue the temporary closure of the second and third block of the street for outdoor dining and retail until Sept. 6, 2021.

The result is a hybrid model that opens the third block to traffic and allows outdoor dining. Further steps will be considered at the Feb. 15 meeting. Kalmick went on record as supporting opening up the third block of Main.

Between Walnut Avenue and Olive Avenue is the second block, and between Olive and Orange Avenue is the third.

Several cities, including Laguna Beach and Orange, have closed off streets in their downtown areas to allow for more outdoor dining in response to coronavirus restrictions that have curbed or banned indoor dining.

Also on Monday night, the council voted 5-2 to file an amicus brief in support of Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes’ appeal of a state court ruling ordering the release or transfer of inmates from county jails to mitigate COVID-19 exposure among the incarcerated population. Abstaining were Kalmick and Moser.

Up to 20 Orange County cities have or may join in backing the appeal. Westminster and Garden Grove voted to do so this week.

The next regular meeting of the council is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2021.

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