Sep 1, 2022 - Business

Parklets in San Francisco could start disappearing

Parklet in San Francisco
Parklet outside Woodhouse Fish Company on Fillmore Street. Photo: Scott Strazzante/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

More restaurants and bars across the city may start taking their parklets down in the coming months as the pandemic-era program is formalized, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

What’s happening: Regulation.

  • The outdoor structures served to increase business during COVID; now, business owners and operators will need to apply for city permits by Nov. 1, showing their plans to comply with updated Shared Spaces regulations.
  • Namely, parklets will need to offer at least one bench for public seating and can only take the space of two metered parking spots, with exceptions in certain situations.
  • Late last year, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association's executive director Laurie Thomas estimated that 90% of parklets in the city would need to be removed or significantly updated to adhere to updated guidelines.

Be smart: Money will be the main factor here.

  • Besides the construction costs to reconfigure the parklets, businesses will also face a new set of permitting fees, including an annual $2,000 charge per parking space they occupy.
  • Restaurants will also need to pay a one-time $3,000 fee for the first parking space they take and $1,500 for each additional spot.

What's next: Enforcement begins April 1, 2023.

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