As part of the City of Oakland’s Flex Streets Initiative, the Economic & Workforce Development Department’s Real Estate staff is making available vacant, outdoor City-owned properties to retail businesses and restaurants which are unable to expand their operations on the public right-of-way or private property. The extra space provided to businesses by the Flex Streets Initiative helps them meet the physical distancing requirements of Alameda County, and provides an important opportunity to safely conduct business as health officials have paused on reopening.
In support of outdoor dining, as well as indoor and outdoor retail allowed by the Alameda County Health Officer Order, the City of Oakland launched the Flex Streets Initiative to streamline the permitting process for sidewalk, parking lane, and roadway encroachments. For those merchants unable to use these three encroachments, unutilized City-owned outdoor properties will be made available via temporary license agreements for retailers to display and sell merchandise and restaurants to place tables and chairs in an outdoor dining or café setting.
Consistent with the Oakland Municipal Code, businesses will be required to pay fair market value for use of City property. However, to promote equitable economic recovery, businesses located in an area of the City that has been disproportionately impacted or is disproportionately vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus would qualify for reduced fees.
Businesses that wish to utilize City property under this program are encouraged to explore the City’s portfolio of real property and then complete and submit the online application form.
The goal of this element of the Flex Streets Initiative is to spur equitable economic recovery by making it easier for retailers, restaurants and other allowed businesses to use vacant, outdoor City property to ensure physical distancing.
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