A parklet in front of a Fayetteville business.

A previously temporary change that makes it easier for Fayetteville businesses to expand onto the parking spaces outside their doors is now a permanent part of city law.

City Council members on Tuesday agreed to allow businesses to continue to operate parklets on city-owned parking spaces.

A parklet is defined as a small platform that takes the place of one or more on-street parking spaces to extend the sidewalk and provide new space for seats, tables or other public amenities.

The council last year voted to temporarily to expedite the process to request use of parking spaces in hopes of providing safer options for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, city staff said the adjustment would enable various businesses to explore outdoor seating and to be creative and try new things quickly without remitting fees or waiting for a permit review process. The outdoor areas can be utilized by restaurants, bars, performance venues and any other business or organization that wants to expand outdoor seating.

Tuesday’s action made permanent the streamlined process, but removed an emergency provision that waived the fees for a parklet permit.

Parklets are built, operated and maintained by an adjacent business or organization in an effort to offer new opportunities for people to stop, sit and enjoy the surrounding neighborhood street life.

City staff said parklets can invigorate pedestrian areas with activity, and with proper design and management, can add vitality to the street by encouraging walking, shopping, dining and socializing, which can help boost economic development.

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