On July 8, 2015, the City Commission accepted the recommendation of the Land Use and Development Committee (LUDC) authorizing the Administration to develop criteria and procedures for parklets to be installed on a temporary basis on Washington Ave. On December 9, 2015, the City Commission approved the Washington Avenue Pilot Parklet Program (“Pilot Parklet Program”) which included design guidelines and a permitting process for program. On January 13, 2016, the City Commission passed an Ordinance amending Section 122-5 allowing temporary-uses in the public right-of-way to be exempt from concurrency fees and allow the Commission to set the geographic areas for such purpose. On March 9, 2016, the City Commission passed an Ordinance amending Section 82-382(b)(9) to allow sidewalk café permit fees abatements for businesses participating in the Pilot Parklet Program that expired on March 31, 2019.
The Pilot Parklet Program aims to temporarily convert on-street parking spaces into publicly-accessible open space for all to enjoy.
The goals of the program is to re-imagine the potential of city streets, encourage non-motorized transportation, encourage pedestrian activity, and support local businesses. The Pilot Parklet Program provides an incentive for merchants to enhance the aesthetic of the streetscape and providing an economical solution for increased public open space. They provide amenities like seating, planting, bike parking, and art. Typically the materials consist of semi-permanent decks that expand the pedestrian realm in parking spaces adjacent to businesses allowing business owners to increase outdoor seating, without requiring permanent street redesign and construction.
The administration anticipates bringing an ordinance to extend the Washington Avenue Parklet program to the June 5, 2019 Commission meeting.
At he May 8, 2019 Commission meeting, the Mayor and Commission referred a discussion regarding creating a Parklet Fund of $50,000 to subsidize the cost of converting on-street parking spaces to parklets to the Finance and Citywide Projects Committee (FCWPC) s part of a broader referral of Washington Avenue incentives.