Taking It To The Streets In Support of Economic Recovery
In an effort to support businesses in their COVID-19 relaunch efforts, the City of Lethbridge will be expediting permitting for the use of sidewalks and streets to create outdoor patios, parklets and street vending in commercial areas. Opportunities for expanded outdoor seating will be vital in allowing businesses to serve customers while still following provincial health orders and ensuring physical distancing.
For businesses in Downtown Lethbridge, the Heart of Our City Committee has developed an Outdoor Patio and Parklet Support Program. This includes a limited quantity of prefabricated parklet structures, planters, bistro tables and chairs that businesses can borrow. Further, the existing Main Street Incentive Program has been expanded beyond façade and signage improvements to include patio and parklet improvements. This expanded program will provide matching funding to businesses to assist with initial costs of developing their own patio or parklet.
A parklet is a temporary seating area that replaces one or two parking spaces by extending from the sidewalk in front of the business and into the street. Parklets were first introduced in 2005 in San Francisco and today are a mainstay in communities small and large, from Fernie, BC to New York, NY. The City piloted parklets in 2019 with great success. This year’s program has been modified slightly to incorporate changes suggested through community feedback.
A comprehensive handbook has also been created for anyone interested in exploring a patio/parklet options for their business. This resource includes operational and safety requirements, application form, and details on the review process. For more information visit: www.lethbridge.ca/publicspaces.