Spokane City Council votes to modify requirements for ‘streateries’ in effort to help restaurants

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SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council voted to modify requirements for parklets and “streateries” at a special meeting on Thursday.

Parklets are temporary sidewalk extensions that provide space and amenities for people using the street by converting a parking space or loading zone to public use. A streatery is similar to a parklet, but belongs to an adjacent restaurant and functions as an “off-sidewalk” café.

Local restaurants must submit an application to the city before installing a parklet or streatery. The City Council is now looking to change some of the application requirements in an effort to help support restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it stands, the application process includes an evaluation by a city engineer and a public comment period. Those two steps have typically happened at separate times, but under the modifications, would happen simultaneously in an effort to speed up the approval process. Additionally, special event application fees would be waived.

Streateries allow restaurants to expand their seating capacities. Spokane County is aiming to enter phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan before Memorial Day. Under phase 2, restaurants can resume in-person dining at 50 percent capacity and as long as tables are situated six feet apart.

READ: Spokane Valley Fire offers guidelines on how many customers businesses can serve in phase 2

READ: Spokane will ‘likely’ be ready for phase 2 by Memorial Day weekend, Mayor Woodward says