Lompoc City Council unanimously approved a proclamation at their July 21 meeting
that temporarily suspends city regulations that prohibit outdoor operations of city businesses.
City Manager Jim Throop, acting as director of emergency services, first issued the proclamation on July 16 to allow businesses like restaurants and retail stores to operate outdoors, as these locations were not allowed to operate indoors under the governor’s statewide health order.
At the time of the initial proclamation, cosmetology services like hair and nail salons were not included for outdoor services. But since then, Gov. Gavin Newsom modified state guidelines to allow select personal care services to operate outside as well.
FILE PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI
OUTDOOR OBSTACLES The Lompoc City Council passed a proclamation allowing additional personal care services to operate outdoors. But for some salons, shifting outside might not be possible.
This led Throop to bring an updated proclamation
to the City Council on July 21 that includes hair salons, barber shops, nail salon services, and massages. Piercing, tattoo, and electrolysis services are still prohibited.
“It’s best to do anything we can to allow our businesses within the city to somehow attempt to get through this strange situation and allow them to do business as best as possible,” Throop said at the meeting.
He added that these outdoor operations cannot be on “city right-of-way or city property. You have to be on private property of some kind.”
Mayor Jenelle Osborne and city council members were enthusiastic about the proclamation.
“I think it’s really important that we maintain any opportunity that is not in our public right of way for [businesses] to continue to conduct business wherever they can,” Osborne said.
“I think it’s important for the vitality of our current businesses,” Councilmember Gilda Cordova added, “especially in the industry of restaurant and food and beverage, that they are able to continue to conduct business, and we as a city can do whatever we can to assist in that and help keep them open.”
While restaurants across the county
have adapted to the constantly changing rules by bringing tables outside, it may not be as easy a feat for personal care services to do the same.
A Lompoc-based salon owner told the Sun
that while these allowances are well-intentioned and may help some industries, it can be near impossible for some salons to operate outdoors, including her own. The salon owner explained why she personally will not be taking advantage of the new proclamation, and asked to be quoted anonymously.
“Probably 90 percent of my clients are getting highlights, hair color,” she said. “You can’t do any of that. All you can do is haircuts.”
She explained that hair coloring requires rinsing a client’s hair in the sink, as well as a multitude of hair styling tools that need wall plugs and electricity. She said that a barber shop, which typically works with shorter haircuts, could potentially make it work. But for her salon, outdoor operations are simply not possible.
“It’s hard, to one day be closed, and you don’t know when you’re going to be open again,” she said. “You have clients that you’ve worked 20 years to build, all that kind of stuff.” ∆