LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to begin steps to make its COVID-19 al fresco outdoor dining program permanent.

The program, which began last May, helps restaurants safely serve diners during the COVID pandemic by offering outdoor dining on sidewalks, parking lots and streets.

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On Wednesday, the City Council voted to have reports created on the possibility of making the program permanent while following Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

The vote requested a report from the Bureau of Engineering of recommended ways to make existing al fresco participants permanent.

The city attorney, Department of Building and Safety, City Planning and the Los Angeles Fire Department, were also asked to make reports on how the program would work.

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Mayor Eric Garcetti’s budget proposal for the 2021-22 fiscal year includes $2 million in grants for low-income neighborhood restaurants to create permanent areas for outdoor dining as part of the program.

Garcetti signaled his support for making the program permanent during his State of the City address in April.

“In a city whose unofficial motto is 72 and sunny, let’s make al fresco dining permanent, including nearly $2 million in grants for restaurants in low-income neighborhoods to set up permanent parklets for outdoor dining,” the mayor said.

Former Councilman David Ryu, who in August introduced the motion that the council approved Wednesday, said L.A. “has an opportunity to re-imagine the ways that we use our city streets and support our local businesses.”

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