The COVID-19 Temporary Expansion of Restaurant Seating initiative has allowed businesses to use City-owned property to operate their businesses as part of an emergency response to the pandemic. As the emergency provisions ease, the City of Tucson is considering how to make this shared use of public space an ongoing program.
The Department of Transportation & Mobility, in partnership with Planning and Development Services and the Office of Economic Initiatives, is working on how to transition the COVID-19 Temporary Expansion of Restaurant Seating into public spaces from an emergency response into a streamlined ongoing program.
On May 15, 2020, City of Tucson Mayor and Council enacted regulatory zoning relief allowing the temporary expansion of seating areas for food and beverage establishments to help businesses re-open while meeting current social distancing requirements. Through this relief, businesses were able to quickly expand their restaurant seating areas in walkways, parking spaces, and other spaces, while continuing to meet accessibility and safety requirements.
This initiative has been a critical part of Tucson’s response strategy to sustain the locally-owned small business sector in Tucson. Now more than ever, we’ve seen a demand for outdoor dining and outdoor community gathering spaces in Tucson. Parklets and streateries help provide valuable privately-funded and privately-maintained public spaces, and additional options for outdoor dining.
The City of Tucson is exploring options for expanding outdoor dining and outdoor community spaces. City staff from a variety of departments are working together to streamline and simplify the City’s review and approval process. The goal is to create an easier, quicker, and more transparent process for businesses and groups to apply.
TYPES OF SHARED SPACES
We live in a city with a limited number of neighborhood parks. Parklets provide valuable privately-funded and privately-maintained public spaces for people to read, play, and socialize. Parklets convert on-street parking spaces into community gathering places, creating more vibrant commercial districts. Streateries are a new way to support these goals while also responding to the demand for more outdoor café seating in Tucson, particularly in areas where sidewalks are too narrow for sidewalk cafés.
Pop-Up Parklet or Streatery
We want to hear from you! Please join us at one or more events this May to learn more about the Shared Spaces program, and explore what’s possible.
- Listening Session with Existing Permitted Business and Property Owners (by invitation) | May 25
- Public Information Session | Wednesday, May 26, 6-7 PM
- Pop-Up Parklet Outreach Event | May 28 & 29, from 7 AM - 12pm | Presta Coffee (501 E 9th St)
TAKE THE SURVEY
If you aren't able to make it to an outreach event, we still want to hear from you! Please take the short online survey here. Survey closes June 4, 2021.