Parklet Program

Parklets are platforms that convert on-street parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. Parklets expand seating capacity at adjacent restaurants, businesses, and community-based organizations.

Date Posted: February 24th, 2023 @ 10:33 AM
Last Updated: May 25th, 2023 @ 8:16 AM

Check out the DRAFT Parklet Application!

OakDOT staff will start accepting applications on July 1, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a Parklet?

Business owners, non-residential property owners, and community-based organizations may be considered.

How do I apply for a new Parklet permit?

Applications can apply for a permit at the Online Permit Center, by emailing DOTOnlinePermits@oaklandca.gov, or by appointment at the Permit Counter. The OakDOT Permit Counter is open to the public on the 2nd Floor of 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Click here to schedule an appointment.

How much does a Parklet permit cost?

Parklet permit costs are documented in the Master Fee Schedule. New Parklet permit fees include an application fee, records management & technology fee, along with fees to cover OakDOT staff time to review and to inspect the installed parklet, and an annual parking space rental fee. Staff estimate new Parklet permit fees will be about $2,400.

Does the Parklet permit expire?

Yes, each Parklet permit expires after 365 days and must be renewed annually.

What must I submit with the Parklet permit application?

Parklet applicants must submit a completed two-page application, along with site plan, elevations, and sections stamped by a licensed architect or engineer; the certificate of insurance; and the maintenance agreement. If the proposed Parklet structure extends more than 3’ in front of a neighbor, applicants must also seek the neighbor's written consent.

Can the City help fund the Parklet?

Parklet costs are eligible for City of Oakland Facade & Tenant Improvement Program funds. Check the web page for more information on the next call for applications. The City of Oakland Economic & Workforce Development Department, Race & Equity Department, and Transportation Department (OakDOT) are also developing an Equity Fee Waiver program to support applicants.

I have an existing Parklet. Can I keep it?

All Flex Street permits (the name of the temporary Parklet program established during COVID-19 pandemic) expire on June 30, 2023, per City Council direction. The new Parklet Program Guidelines take effect on July 1, 2023. Flex Street permit holders are required to apply for a new Parklet permit and meet the new Parklet Program Guidelines.

Is there a grace period for existing permittees?

OakDOT is committed to supporting businesses during the transition to the permanent Parklet Program. OakDOT staff are available to answer any specific questions. Please email DOTOnlinePermits@oaklandca.gov. OakDOT plans to start enforcing the new Parklet permit after September 1, 2023, or as soon as the FY 2023 – 2024 Master Fee Schedule is adopted, whichever is later.

How were the new Parklet Program Guidelines developed?

The City of Oakland Parklet Program Guidelines were developed based on lessons learned from Oakland’s temporary pandemic-era Flex Streets Program, as well as best practices gleaned from thirteen peer cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Philadelphia. To refine the Parklet Program Guidelines, OakDOT staff hosted a series of office hours in July 2022 and solicited feedback from Oakland’s Business Improvement Districts, existing Flex Streets Program permittees, regional agencies, and community members. OakDOT staff received over 170 survey responses and letters from stakeholders. Background on the development of the Parklet Program can be found here.

What is the difference between a Sidewalk Café and Parklet?

Both Sidewalk Cafés and Parklets activate streets by accommodating outdoor dining in the public right-of-way. A Sidewalk Café is distinguished from a Parklet in that a Sidewalk Café is located on the sidewalk area within the business frontage whereas a Parklet is designed to occupy parts of a parking lane located within the business frontage. Sidewalk Cafés shall be approved via a separate permit application and review process from the Parklet permit application.

Can I have a food cart in a Parklet?

No. The Parklet Permit is not a vending permit. In Oakland, Parklets are intended as a way for abutting businesses to extend their existing business by adding outdoor seating to create more vibrant streetscapes.