Parklets are temporary sidewalk extensions that provide more space and amenities for people using the street by converting a parking space or loading zone to public use. Creatively designed and executed, parklets provide seating areas and public space, often include greenery, and commonly provide a unique visual impact that activates a street and increases the public use. You may have seen last year’s pilot program that installed a parklet on West Main Ave downtown and a second parklet on West 1st Ave. A similar program this year could install up to three parklets.
Parklets and streateries have been implemented with success in multiple municipalities; increasing the vibrancy of the public realm, generating pedestrian activity, and activating new uses for streets.
Streateries are similar in design and nature to parklets. However, rather than operating as public space all day long, streateries belong to an adjacent restaurant or café during operating hours; functioning as a "off-sidewalk café" that can extend off the sidewalk into the parking lane. When the restaurant or café is closed, the streatery operates as a typical parklet. As with Parklets, the clear sidewalk must be maintained and other safety concerns must be addressed.
The City ran a pilot program for parklets last year and continued that program into this year, when up to three parklets could be approved for the warmer months of 2017. As a follow up to the pilot program, the City is considering a more permanent program that would allow parklets and streateries to be installed each summer. To that end, a draft ordinance has been developed and will be presented to the City Plan Commission in the near future.
The draft Ordinance was presented to the Spokane Plan Commission on August 9, 2017. Following changes to limit parklets and streateries to one per block face and to correct a clerical error in the Ordinance, the Plan Commission recommended that the City Council approve the draft Ordinance. Accordingly the draft Ordinance and related documents (below) will be considered by the City Council at their October 2nd hearing. Oral public comment will be taken at that hearing. Anyone wishing to provide written comment should contact Tami Palmquist via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 509.625.6300.
For more information on parklets and streateries, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.