We at the City have seen a lot of interest and conversation about the proposed ordinance and the concept of parklets and streateries. In order to provide some answers to questions we have received and to give some more insight into the proposed program, the following frequently asked questions have been provided.
A parklet is essentially a temporary constructed public space installed in a parking spot or loading zone. Parklets are free for the use of everyone – visitors, residents, and businesses alike. They are installed for the warmer months and removed for the colder part of the year.
A streatery is much like a parklet, but it is reserved for the use of the adjacent café or restaurant during their business hours – just like a sidewalk café but not on the sidewalk. When the business who maintains the streatery is closed, it works just like a parklet - free for everyone to use.
These are private projects developed by private businesses, residents, and local groups who wish to provide public amenities and expand the usable space in front of their shops, stores, and cafes. The proposed ordinance includes a permit fee for applicants, but that fee is meant to defray City costs in processing the application as well as the loss of paid parking, where appropriate. The ordinance also includes a lease cost for the use of City property (the street). The City is not spending any of its own funds to construct or install parklets or streateries.
Parklets and streateries are located within the parking lane, either within parking spaces or loading zones. The proposed ordinance requires that the minimum sidewalk remain open and clear for the use of pedestrians.
No. The proposed ordinance will allow parklets and streateries only during the warmer months. Not only must they be removed before late fall, but they also must be removable within a given time after notice is given that they need to move.
The draft ordinance states that as long as the business who owns and maintains the streatery has a liquor license and complies with all applicable state and local laws, a streatery can include the service of alcohol.
The parklet and streatery program is entirely voluntary. Anyone proposing to install a parklet or streatery must apply for a permit from City Hall and comply with requirements for notification and input from the property owners and tenants of nearby buildings.
The program would include design features that require that the parklet or streatery be handicap accessible. For instance, no gaps or steps between the sidewalk and the parklet/streatery will be allowed.
Absolutely! We have set up a project page here: https://my.spokanecity.org/projects/parklets/. We will post additional information when it becomes available there as well as on the City's Facebook page and blog. Anyone wishing to comment on the project is encouraged to submit comments via the contact information on that page or directly to my email address: email@example.com. Of course, at both the Plan Commission hearing and the City Council hearing for the proposed ordinance public testimony will be taken.