Parklet's planned destruction causes flap in Pt. Richmond

Parklet's planned destruction causes flap in Pt. Richmond

***** UPDATE*****
According to a social media post from the owners of the UP and Under Pub, after a meeting with the city, the parklet will not be taken down at this time. See post below.

PARKLETT UPDATE We are thrilled to announce a positive update regarding the future of the parklet. Following a productive dialogue and meeting with the City of Richmond, it has been agreed upon that the parklet will not be taken down at this time. The meeting, held on May 26th, provided an opportunity for both parties to express their perspectives and concerns openly. We presented our case, highlighting the parklet's significant contribution to the local community, the revitalization of the business district, and the overall well-being of patrons during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parklet, at least for now, will continue to serve as a valuable space for patrons to safely enjoy dining experiences, supporting local businesses while promoting a vibrant and inclusive community atmosphere. Its presence symbolizes the resilience, creativity, and commitment of the local business owners and residents who have come together to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the community members who continue to rally behind the Up & Under Pub and Grill, signing petitions and expressing your unwavering support. Your voices make a significant impact and will still do as we work with the City on this matter.

When a demolition crew, complete with a police escort, showed up to demolish the parklet outside of the Up and Under Pub in Pt. Richmond, it was a complete surprise to the owners and customers who frequent the pub.

The parklet, a favorite outdoor dining spot in the neighborhood, was erected during the COVID pandemic shutdown and is referred to as a "lifeline" in an online petition penned to save it from the city's apparent plan to demolish it.

"We're humbly asking for your support for the Up & Under Pub and Grill's parklet, which has become an integral part of our community and a cherished gathering space at the Point. We want to urge the City of Richmond to reconsider its decision to remove the parklet and to work collaboratively with the Pub and the community to find a solution that allows the parklet to remain," the petition states.

The petition was started by Nathan Trivers, one of the pub's owners.

Social media has been a buzz with discussion as locals grapple to understand why the city is intent on the parklets' destruction.

Pt. Richmond resident Daniel Butt said in an online forum that he knew that the city sent a demolition crew with a police escort to take it down without any communication to the business association.

"From what I was told, a letter was sent to the owner a month or so ago, but they believed there would be some kind of due process or a public hearing before action was taken. I think they did not know there would be such a strong and fast action. I want to know too, because I've never seen the City move so fast for anything," Butt said.

Indeed the manager of the pub had no further information other than acknowledging the city's desire to remove the parklet.

"All I knew is the city wants to take it down, and there's a petition trying to save it," Jaclyn Brewer said.

An email requesting information sent to councilmember Cesar Zepeda, whose district includes Pt. Richmond has not yet received a reply.

So far, the online petition has garnered 681 signatures and many supportive comments.

"Why is the City of Richmond going out of their way to hurt small businesses and local communities? U&U's parklet is 1) well-received by the community, 2) causes no problems, 3) reduces usage of the non-official "parklet" near the BNSF tracks, and 4) there is no shortage of parking in this area. There is no reason for this other than either blind bureaucratic zeal, or vindictiveness for some reason-or-another. Seriously, Richmond… fix something broken and crappy (and there’s a lot to choose from!) instead of forcing somebody else to tear down something nice. You have better things to do for your constituents," wrote David Yang.

Kate Brakohiapa wrote, "I’m so confused as to why tearing down the Up and Under’s parklet is a priority for the City of Richmond. There are 1 million things we could be doing to benefit the community, and this is not one of them!"

"The city of Richmond should focus on real city problems rather than harassing hard working businesses. The parkletts and outdoor dining are investment the business owners made and paid to the city the license and inspection as a business solutions for during the pandemic. The city did not offer any settlement to return the investment. The City of Richmond tend to waste money in areas instead of improvement in public safety and cleaning up the neighborhoods it governs.
We will remember on voting day and recalls," wrote Melody Schaeffer.

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Save the Up & Under Pub and Grill Parklet

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