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The City of Puyallup has recently unveiled its new list of downtown restaurants that will offer an outdoor curbside dining option for customers as part of its parklet Pilot Program. The following restaurants will receive a parklet in front of their business this Spring and Summer.
A parklet, also known as a “streatery” or curbside cafe, is a temporary structure in a public right-of-way that can be used as an extension of a restaurant’s seating area or as extra retail space for a shop. The parklets have been delivered to these businesses and most are up and running now while Pierce County remains in Phase 2.
The City’s parklet option is part of the broader Puyallup is (Open) Air Pilot Program, which launched in June 2020. The Pilot Program was initiated by the City Council as a response to COVID-19 and its impacts on the downtown business community. Within the Program are four options: Temporary Sidewalk Cafes, Curbside Café/Parklet, Temporary Retail & Dining Pop Ups, and Temporary Street Café. Each Program option was created with the intention of encouraging downtown businesses to take advantage of the public right-of-way as a means for economic recovery and opportunity.
“The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our local business community,” says Mayor Julie Door. “As vehicle traffic and downtown parking usage decreased, we looked at our empty street and sidewalk spaces as an opportunity to help our businesses. That is when the idea of a Pilot Program came to fruition. Not only does it help our downtown businesses, but it also creates an opportunity for residents to continue enjoying these businesses while adhering to social distancing requirements.”
Initially, upon launch of the Pilot Program, businesses were required to fund the construction of the parklets as part of the application process. However, due to the significant costs associated with construction, the City decided to step in and build the parklets at no charge to the downtown businesses.
“This entire process was a learning experience for everyone,” comments Meredith Neal, City Economic Development Manager. “When we received CARES Act funding, part of which we could use for economic recovery, we realized it just made more sense for the City to use these funds to assist with the parklets. Now, downtown businesses can apply for this program at little to no cost to them. By having one standardized design, it streamlined the permitting process, which in turn sped up the overall process of getting them built and installed in the community.”
Using CARES Act funds, the City designed and constructed seven parklets, which were placed in Downtown Puyallup. Each parklet is approximately the size of one street parking space. As the program continued and gained popularity, the City decided to implement a lottery system to ensure fairness in the selection process. Downtown businesses were required to re-apply for the parklets in October 2020 for the following Winter and again in March 2021 for the following Spring and Summer seasons.
To apply for a parklet, the above downtown businesses had to complete a Right-of-Way Permit application with the City. Each application included a detailed Site Plan, which contains dimensions of the dining area location, along with a certification of liability insurance. Applications were then reviewed and approved by the City’s Development and Permitting Services Department.
For more information about the Pilot Program, please go to the City’s website page here. For questions about the program, please contact Meredith Neal at email@example.com or 253-841-5496.