OCEANSIDE — Oceanside is in the process of drafting rules to allow curbside parklets in front of businesses.
The idea to allow curbside cafes, which extend into street parking spaces, still needs City Council feedback and approval.
If parklets are given the green light, they would expand outdoor seating for restaurants and businesses and help create a sense of place.
Scott Nightingale, city associate planner, said parklets make downtowns more inviting.
“They intensify pedestrian activity, and rejuvenate downtown areas,” Nightingale said.
Oceanside resident Nadine Scott is not a fan of the idea. She said the benefit to businesses shortchanges available parking.
“It’s a huge concern,” Nadine Scott said. “They’re taking out parking spaces to put in tables and chairs for customers on the street.”
“It’s wrong to take space for private businesses.”
Nightingale said the city is in the process of establishing perimeters for parklets, which include evaluating the impact on area parking.
Other rules under consideration are to limit encroachment to two public parking spaces, and require businesses west of the railroad tracks to replace the parking spots.
Businesses east of the railroad tracks would not have that requirement.
Additional regulations call for a sidewalk-level deck platform, safety barriers between the parklet and roadway, a limit of two parklets per block, and a requirement the location is adjacent to a 25 mile per hour road. Design standards would also be set.
Alcohol consumption would not be allowed within parklets, because they cross public right of way.
Businesses would be charged a city application fee. Applications would be reviewed and renewed every two years.
Regulations for city established parklets are also being considered, along with maintenance requirements of a public space.
The city of Carlsbad has had rules for pilot parklets since 2013. Carlsbad charges businesses $100 a month per encroached parking stall.
Oceanside city staff is reviewing rules set by Carlsbad, Long Beach, San Francisco and other cities.
Pier View Coffee Company, located on Pier View Way and Cleveland Street, has requested an application for a parklet. The request is on hold until Oceanside establishes regulations.
Oceanside rules are currently in draft form. A workshop will be scheduled in August to gain feedback from the City Council and the public.