The City of West Hollywood is responding in a variety of creative ways to community needs as the region navigates the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the City is taking extensive steps to support businesses with solutions that protect health and safety by turning things — inside out!
In August 2020, the City began its Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permit program, known as OUT Zones, by offering streamlined approval for businesses to use sidewalks, on-street parking spaces, and private parking lots as areas to expand operations.
Beginning Saturday, April 17, 2021, the City of West Hollywood is expanding the program with OUT on Robertson, a pilot program that closes N. Robertson Boulevard south of Santa Monica Boulevard and north of Melrose Avenue to vehicular traffic each Saturday and Sunday in order to transform the restaurant/retail area into a pedestrian zone with COVID-19 safety protocols as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announces reopening guidelines allowing for higher numbers of patrons.
Plentiful parking is available in the five-story West Hollywood Park structure located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. Additional parking is also available at 650 N. La Peer Drive. For those using rideshare services, the City has established Drop Zones at the corner of Melrose Avenue and N. Robertson Boulevard.
OUT on Robertson will embrace, on weekends, what compact OUT Zones throughout the City have been offering for months: a place to enjoy sunny days and balmy nights while maintaining social distance, aligning with health and safety protocols, and supporting community businesses. OUT on Robertson will give people who live, work, and play in West Hollywood more opportunities to stay outside under palm trees by day and starry skies at night, all while enjoying the best of what West Hollywood has to offer. People exploring West Hollywood’s OUT on Robertson are reminded that the City of West Hollywood has a mandatory face-covering requirement and people are urged to be mindful of maintaining six feet of social distancing for dining, shopping, and personal care under the sun and stars.
“Closing this highly trafficked and bustling stretch of Robertson will provide a pedestrian-safe space that allows for appropriate social distancing as the Public Health Department eases capacity restrictions while still monitoring the spread of the virus,” said City of West Hollywood Council-member John M. Erickson. “COVID is not over and we all must remain vigilant about protecting our own health, and the health of others. I’m looking forward to safely seeing you — at a distance and with your most fabulous masks on — OUT on Robertson!”
“The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our local businesses to drastically alter how they serve the public. This has had a profound impact on the City of West Hollywood’s business community and has added to the economic challenges wrought by COVID-19,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. “Keeping our community safe, healthy, and thriving is priority one. Creating safe, socially distanced outdoor spaces for expanded operations is a creative approach that will help West Hollywood’s businesses, residents, and visitors as we continue to respond to the evolving pandemic.”
This expansion of the OUT Zones program provides outdoor commercial space in public right-of-way for restaurants and retail establishments to move operations outside to ensure social (physical) distancing and meet protocols set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the State of California, which currently limit indoor operations in these sectors.
The most up-to-date list of participating OUT Zone businesses can be found at www.weho.org/outzones. OUT Zones are marked by colorful signage with spots to “Dine OUT” for restaurants and cafes, “Shop OUT” for boutiques and goods, and “Werk OUT” for exercise and personal care.