Farley's parklrt, photo by Amy HIllyard
Oakland's Grand Avenue is the first neighborhood to have a parklet, thanks to a campaign by Amy and Chris Hillyard, owners of popular coffee/gathering spot Farley's East.
Pioneered in Oakland in 2010, parklets are mini-spaces that allow businesses to set up and maintain portable seating and green space, usually on a sidewalk, median or open space. Hillyard raised more than $5,000 to set up the parklet, which provides an expanding strip of Grand Avenue with more green space and held a press conference - complete with city officials - on Sept. 21.
“Donations from our customers, neighboring businesses and the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association made this possible," Hillard said. "It was all about community support."
Launched in September 2011, the parklet pilot program received seven completed applications by the Nov. 7 deadline. Three parklet projects, including Farley’s East, have received Minor Encroachment Permits for parklets on San Pablo in the Golden Gate and on 40th Street near Manifesto Bicycles. According to city officials, three more parklet applications are in process.
The initial permit for the parklets is for one year, with up to two annual renewals contingent upon the sponsor meeting the specified maintenance conditions. As part of the application process, applicants must demonstrate community support for their parklet in the form of letters of support or a signed petition.
To further inform the public, the planning department provides copies of a public notice that the applicant posts on site for 17 calendar days, informing the public that a permit is being considered to allow the installation of a parklet. Planning staff also provide mailing labels and notices to the applicant for mailing to property owners within a 300-foot radius of the proposed location.
Among other requirements, parklet permit holders are required to carry liability insurance and provide daily maintenance. Access panels must be included in the parklet design in order to maintain the gutter and area underneath and the design must allow for drainage along the gutter.
Planning and Zoning staff shepherding the parklets will begin evaluating the pilot program in the fourth quarter of 2012. Staff members anticipate presenting City Council with a long-term parklet program in the spring of 2013.
For more information on the parklet pilot program, visit oaklandnet.com/parklets.
If you want a parklet
Contact Laura Kaminski, city of Oakland Parklet Project Manager at (510) 238-6809 or email@example.com.