Commercial Streets Program

On June 19th, the City launched its Commercial Streets program, approved by the City Council at their May 19 meeting with the strong support of Alameda’s major business associations. This program streamlines the permit approval process for expanding dining and retail into new parklets (using parking spaces) and the sidewalks. The program will also repurpose the roadway along core parts of Park and Webster Streets to greatly increase the area available for outdoor dining and retail. 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.

For assistance, please contact the City's Permit Center or email

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

You may set up outdoor dining and retail now, following the conditions outlined here(PDF, 271KB). No plans or permits are required, since your business is covered by your BIAs encroachment permit. A minimum of eight feet of clear space must be maintained along Park and Webster Streets, and six feet on the side streets.

For Businesses within all other commercial districts in Alameda:

You may use the sidewalk for outdoor dining and/or retail, with an approved Sidewalk Usage Encroachment Permit. A minimum of six feet of clear space must be maintained. You will need to complete the Sidewalk Usage Encroachment Permit Application(PDF, 116KB), which will include, as conditions, these Sidewalk Usage Guidelines(PDF, 263KB). Send your completed Encroachment Permit application to Permits will be issued as quickly as possible.  

With a parklet, your business can convert the parking space(s) in front of and/or near your business into an area for outdoor dining, retail or other commercial uses. The City has streamlined the parklet permit process and permits will be issued as quickly as possible.  

Complete the Parklet Encroachment Permit Application(PDF, 118KB).

You must follow the Parklet Conditions(PDF, 272KB) and the Parklet Design Guidelines and Application Requirements(PDF, 184KB).

Submittal Instructions:  

Send your complete parklet application to, addressed to the attention of Brian McGuire.

As of Tuesday, 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, 310KB). No additional plans or permits 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 with your name, business name and address, and request. The City will review requests as they are submitted and make these changes, as feasible.

At the direct request of the Downtown Area Business Association and the West Alameda Business Association, the City is preparing to reconfigure 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 wide 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 will be 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 Santa Clara to Encinal Avenues will be completed in early- to mid-July.

  • A second, more northern section, of Park Street and a section of Webster Street will be completed in mid- to late-July.

This reconfiguration will be monitored and evaluated, and then modified, as needed, and is expected to remain through early November. All bus stops will remain in place.

Complete the community survey [coming soon!] to provide your input on this and the other Commercial Streets changes.

Coming soon!