The City of Napa made further strides to extend the temporary Napa Al Fresco parklets program into a permanent dining option for local businesses at the November 15, 2022 Council Meeting. The parklets program, which enables business owners primarily in the downtown area to utilize the public parking space in the street in front of their business, will be rolled out later this fiscal year (FY). Business owners are required to install a platform that levels the area with the sidewalk in order to have an approved parklet.
While many details of the new permanent program are still in development, the City cemented the program’s future at the Council Meeting with the approval of the municipal code amendments. These amendments include outdoor dining fees, which aim to cover the reasonable costs incurred by the City in allowing the use of City property for outdoor dining purposes, was approved for FY22, FY23, and FY24 at an annual cost to permittees of $10 per square foot.
“In the earlier stages of the pandemic, the City needed to act quickly and creatively to help our local business owners keep their doors open and continue offering their services safely–and from that, the ‘Napa Al Fresco’ program was born,” said City Manager Steve Potter. “Now that we’ve witnessed the program’s success in the community, and with outdoor dining becoming more of a norm, we’re excited to re-evaluate and formalize the process into a permanent offering.”
Senior Planner Mike Walker, who spearheaded the initial Napa Al Fresco program, has since been working with residents, local businesses and associations, City staff and the Council to determine the best path forward for the permanent parklets program. Public engagement has been at the forefront, which included a public hearing to provide community comments to Council specifically on the amendments to the municipal code and the master fee schedule.
The FY22 fee went into effect as of November 15, when the resolution was approved by the City Council. The FY23 fee will be effective on January 1, 2023; and the FY24 fee will be effective on January 1, 2024. As the new program is finalized, the City will be working with current parklets operators to bring their existing permits into compliance with any changes to help avoid needing to re-apply.
Residents can expect the full program to be launched in 2023. The City will be connecting with local businesses in the interim to finalize the program guidelines, issue permits, and assist with other logistics related to the program launch. For more information, visit https://www.cityofnapa.org/937/Napa-Al-Fresco