Parklet Pilot Program

Page updated on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:35 PM

Parklet program - example photo with tables and chairs. Photo source: NACTO.What is a parklet? 

Parklets convert one to two on-street parking spaces into attractive public spaces, extending the sidewalk to allow for public amenities like seating, landscaping, bike parking, and art. Parklets can provide public space for enjoying the city, especially where narrow sidewalks and dense commercial areas prohibit or limit such activity. Parklets provide an alternative use of curb space to provide amenities and benefits to residents, visitors, and businesses. 

Parklet Pilot Program

In Fall 2019, staff began to evaluate the feasibility of a potential parklet program for the City. The Parks and Recreation Commission endorsed a two-year pilot program in February 2020, and on February 24, 2020 the Traffic and Parking Board made a motion to approve the pilot. Up to six parklets can be approved by City staff per year. After the approval of six parklets, the Traffic and Parking Board must review and approve additional parklet applications for the duration of the pilot program. Parklets are approved on a seasonal basis, from Spring until Thanksgiving Day, after which they must be removed. 

Parklets are only for public use and commercial use (sales, etc.) is prohibited. While someone could purchase food (ice cream, carry-out, etc.) and then take it into the parklet to enjoy, businesses can not make, sell, or distribute goods in the parklet. 

How does the Parklet Program work?

The City issues a Right-of-Way permit to interested parklet hosts. The permit holder, usually a business, community organization, or nonprofit institution, is responsible for the design, construction costs, installation, maintenance, and removal of a parklet. The City provides the necessary buffers for a parklet (two flexible posts and two wheel stops), and administers the parklet program and permit issuance. 

Parklet Program - Responsibilities graphic (yellow)


How to apply to host a parklet? 

You can apply to host a parklet by applying for a Right-of-Way (ROW) Permitted Encroachment through the City's APEX Permit Portal. This permit will include a $125 fee and additional processing fees. Applications will be evaluated based on the date received, application completeness, adherence to the requirements in this document, quality of design, and location in the City (geographic variety is preferred).  All parklet locations and designs must adhere to the program's requirements found here.  

To apply, you will need the following information and documents:

1. Applicant information 

  • Property Address
  • Permit Type (Right of Way – Permitted Encroachment) 
  • Description – Please specify you are applying to host a parklet
  • Requested time of permit (must be removed by November 26, 2020)

2. Site Plan 

  • Show relevant information for the block the proposed parklet would be on including, but not limited to, street and sidewalk widths, existing bike lanes, fire hydrants, bus stops, curbs, loading zones, handicap spaces, bikeshare stations, etc. 
  • List of signage on the street (street-sweeping restrictions, rush hour restrictions, speed limit, etc.)

3. Design Concept

  • The design must adhere to these design guidelines.
  • Staff is happy to provide feedback before a final application is submitted

4. Proof of Notice or Support

  • Example of notice sent 
  • List of names and addresses notified, including property owner if applicable (template)
  • If the proposed parklet would occupy parking spaces other than those fronting the applicant’s space, letters of support from the fronting businesses, residents, and property owners are required. This includes second-story residents and businesses.

5. Appropriate Insurances (detailed requirements here)

  • General Liability Insurance 
  • Automobile Liability 
  • Workers' Compensation and Employer's Liability 

Design Support 

Check out these parklet designs from other cities' parklet programs for inspiration. 

Many local landscape architecture and design firms have expressed interest in designing these creative new public spaces. View a list of these firms and their contact information. The City does not endorse any of these groups. If you are a design firm interested in being on this list, please email dana.wedeles@alexandriava.gov

Contact 

For more information or comments regarding the Parklet Pilot Program, contact Dana Wedeles at dana.wedeles@alexandriava.gov

View information about PARK(ing) Day, a global event in September that allows people to host a temporary parklet for one day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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