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City of St. Helena

The St. Helena City Council took another step Tuesday toward allowing pop-up businesses, in hopes that temporary stores, restaurants or museums might bring new energy and variety to the local economy.

Most pop-ups will be allowed to operate for up to 12 months, except for formula pop-ups which will be limited to 90 days. Formula restaurants will be prohibited.

The ordinance is similar to a temporary program the city set up late last year to allow pop-ups during the holiday shopping season. Only one pop-up, Wish, took advantage of the temporary program, which expired Wednesday. (Planning Director Noah Housh said Wish can continue operating as a permitted use, provided some sign permits and other details are worked out.)

The council voted 5-0 to introduce the pop-up ordinance on Tuesday. It could come back for adoption at the council’s next meeting.

“I’m hoping people will use this as a chance to experiment,” said Councilmember David Knudsen.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved a leak adjustment program for commercial water customers. The City will apply the new process to Tra Vigne restaurant, which experienced a major water leak last year.
  • Adopted an ordinance suspending St. Helena’s 10 p.m. youth curfew for six months, effective immediately. During the next six months, the city will evaluate how things go and then make a final decision about whether to eliminate the curfew permanently or adjust it.
  • Heard a presentation from David Gates of Gates and Associates, the consultants overseeing the downtown streetscape plan. The public is invited to share their thoughts about the downtown streetscape at an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 22, at the Richie Block (the former Goodman’s space). More information is available at cultivatesthelena.com.
  • Planning Director Noah Housh reported that the Planning Commission will review the draft General Plan and draft Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Vintage Hall.
  • Declared March to be American Red Cross Month.

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