Commercial Streets Program

Park St_aerial_2020-07-10.jpgOn June 19th, the City launched its Commercial Streets program, approved by the City Council at their May 19th meeting with the strong support of Alameda’s major business associations. The program streamlines the permit approval process for expanding dining and retail into new parklets (using parking spaces) and the sidewalks. It also includes repurposing the roadway along core parts of Park and Webster Streets to greatly increase the area available for outdoor dining, retail and services. City staff worked closely with the Downtown Area Business Association (DABA) and the West Alameda Business Association (WABA) to develop this new program, which will support the health of our businesses and the community.

Businesses in the Park and Webster Street Business Improvement Areas (BIAs):

Are allowed to set up outdoor dining, retail and services following the conditions outlined in the Outdoor Commercial Usage Conditions(PDF, 275KB). No plans, permits or insurance documents are required in these areas, since all businesses are covered by the BIAs' encroachment permits. A minimum of eight feet of clear space for walking must be maintained along Park and Webster Streets, and six feet on the side streets.

For Businesses within all other commercial areas of Alameda:

The sidewalk may be used for outdoor dining, retail and services with an approved Sidewalk Usage Encroachment Permit. A minimum of six feet of clear space for walking must always be maintained. All of the Outdoor Commercial Usage Conditions(PDF, 275KB) must be followed.

To use the sidewalk space, SUBMIT the following items to PWPermits@alamedaca.gov:

  1. Completed Sidewalk Usage Encroachment Permit Application(PDF, 116KB)
  2. Insurance documents:
    1. Certificate of Insurance (“COI”) naming the City of Alameda as the certificate holder. Make sure all of the policy coverage dates are current.
    2. A separate page for the Additional Insured Endorsement (“AIE”) naming the City. See this sample(PDF, 334KB) for what it will look like. This exact language must be added for the additional insureds: "City of Alameda, its Council, Officers, Employees, Volunteers, Board and Commissions."
    3. Proof of current Workers’ Compensation (WC) insurance. Often, but not always, the WC insurance is included on the Certificate of Insurance, at the bottom. Please make sure it is either included on the COI or that a separate proof of WC insurance is provided.

Permits will be issued as quickly as possible, and having the correct insurance paperwork will expedite the process.

Questions:  

Send an email to PWPermits@alamedaca.gov.

With a parklet, a business can convert the existing (or former) parking space(s) in front of and/or near the business into an area for outdoor dining, retail or services. The City has streamlined the parklet permit process and permits will be issued as quickly as possible.  All parklets must follow the Outdoor Commercial Usage Conditions(PDF, 275KB) and the Parklet Design Guidelines and Application Requirements(PDF, 184KB).

Submittal Instructions:  

To apply for a Parklet Permit, submit the following items to PWPermits@alamedaca.gov:

  1. Completed Parklet Encroachment Permit Application(PDF, 118KB)
  2. Site plan of the proposed parklet. It should show the footprint of the proposed parklet, applicant’s business frontage limits, property lines, existing sidewalk width, existing parking stalls, curb markings (e.g. yellow, green, etc), and all existing sidewalk furniture and obstructions within 15 feet of the proposed site, including fire hydrants, wall hydrants, utility boxes, manholes, utility poles, parking meters, parking kiosks, bike parking and street trees. It should show all dimensions. It can be simple, like this example (coming), or be drawn on an aerial photograph (e.g. Google Maps), provided that the required information is well labeled and clear. It should also show the required barriers and location of trash bins for the parklet. Optionally, it can show the tables, chairs, benches, planters, landscaping, bicycle parking, retail displays, umbrellas, lighting, heating, and signage. The Parklet Design Guidelines and Application Requirements(PDF, 184KB) provide more details.
  3. Insurance documents:
    1. Certificate of Insurance (“COI”) naming the City of Alameda as the certificate holder. Make sure all of the policy coverage dates are current.
    2. A separate page for the Additional Insured Endorsement (“AIE”) naming the City. See this sample(PDF, 334KB) for what it should look like. This exact language must be added for the additional insureds: "City of Alameda, its Council, Officers, Employees, Volunteers, Board and Commissions."  In addition, if the business is located in either the Park Street or the Webster Street business improvement area (BIA), please name as an additional insured “[The Downtown Alameda Business Association OR the West Alameda Business Association], its Officers, Employees, Volunteers, Board and Commissions.”
    3. Proof of current Workers’ Compensation (WC) insurance. Often, but not always, the WC insurance is included on the Certificate of Insurance, at the bottom. Please make sure it is either included on the COI or that a separate proof of WC insurance is provided.

Permits will be issued as quickly as possible, and having the correct insurance paperwork will expedite the process.

Questions:  

Send an email to PWPermits@alamedaca.gov.

Resources:

City's Parklet Webinar from July 9, 2020: Presentation (PDF, 2MB)Video Recording

As of June 23, all businesses Citywide are allowed to use their privately-owned outdoor (un-enclosed open air) space and parking lots for outdoor dining, retail, and commercial uses, as long as they abide by these Conditions(PDF, 317KB) . No additional plans, permits or insurance documents are required.

This use is allowed per Use Permit (#PLN20-0215), approved by the Planning Board on June 22. Read the Planning Board staff report.

Businesses that would like to have existing on-street parking converted to curbside pick-up or short-term parking can make this request by emailing transportation@alamedaca.gov with your name, business name and address, and the request. Please include the exact location of the parking spaces to be converted, and, if applicable, the parking meter number(s). The City will review requests as they are submitted and make these changes, as feasible.

 

At the direct request of DABA and WABA, the City reconfigured the core areas of Park and Webster Streets to “expand” the sidewalk by converting the existing parking lane into space for outdoor dining, retail, and the lining up of customers. The goal is to create enough space to allow for both a safe passage for people walking and shopping along these commercial corridors and for businesses to move some of their operations outdoors, given the County Health Order limitations on indoor business. The parking lanes were moved into the nearest travel lane, narrowing core segments of these two streets to one lane in each direction. The timeframe for the street restriping and repurposing is:

  • Park Street from Lincoln to Encinal Avenues was completed on July 10.

  • Webster Street from Lincoln to Taylor was completed on August 7.

  • An extension of Park Street south to San Jose is also being considered.

This reconfiguration will be monitored and evaluated, and then modified, if needed. It is expected to remain at least through early November. Additional bicycle parking is being added and all bus stops will remain in place.

Complete the survey (coming soon) to provide your input on this and the other Commercial Streets changes.