Economic Recovery Resources - Parklets

Welcome to the Town's Economic Recovery Resource Page

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken an incredible toll on each of us.  The business community in particular has been stretched in ways that many of us never imagined. The Town of Los Gatos continues to applaud our local business owners and staff for their tireless efforts to press on through these economically challenging times and continue to provide services and products to our community. 

After reviewing the information provided on this page, should you have questions regarding how the Economic Recovery Initiatives could support your business, please contact us directly for assistance. 

Thank you,
Monica Renn
Economic Vitality Manager
MRenn@losgatosca.gov 

Economic Recovery Resolution

On June 2, 2020, the Town Council voted unanimously to support the business community by adopting an Economic Recovery Resolution that provides a variety of process streamlining, reduced fees, and other business opportunities to create a more flexible business environment in Los Gatos. The Town Council discussed the initiatives again on October 6, 2020 and again voted unanimously to keep the Economic Recovery Initiatives in place until at least March of 2021.

Some highlights from the Economic Recovery Resolution are as follows:
  • Parking spaces along N. Santa Cruz Avenue and other downtown streets have been replaced with either on-street parklet areas for business use, or short-term parking that may be used for quick-turn and curbside pickup options.
  • Businesses with private parking lots or private outdoor areas may use these spaces to expand business services to guests outdoors, including outdoor seating, outdoor classes and outdoor services.
  • Existing businesses may use an Economic Recovery Agreement to bifurcate, expand, or relocate a business without modifying their CUP, in most cases.
  • The Town Council has approved a reduction of fees by absorbing 50% of the application fees for new Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) and CUP modification applications.

View the full Economic Recovery Resolution.

On October 6, 2020, the Town Council approved a grant match program for businesses to provide platforms, ramps, or other essential items that allow the parklet to become accessible and meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Please see the "Parklet Permit Submittal Requirements" section below to learn more about ADA requirements and how to apply for the grant match program. 

Parklets on Public Right-of-Way

Businesses fronting a public street, with on-street parking, such as those along N. Santa Cruz Avenue, may be eligible to have a temporary parklet installed in front of their location to support outdoor dining or other business services. Many of such parklets already exist.

The health and safety of our community remains a top priority for the Town, thus it is crucial to note that all parklets must be in compliance with the ADA, California Building Code, Santa Clara County Fire Code, and the Santa Clara County Public Health Order.  Additionally, platforms and ramps built in the street must be constructed to allow storm water to be directly routed to the drains.

A Parklet Permit Application must be completed by the business owner and approved by the Town of Los Gatos. This Parklet Permit Application has been updated as of November 6, 2020 and all businesses occupying a parklet on public property MUST complete the new permit.

The information contained within the Parklet Permit requires compliance with the ADA, Building/Fire Codes, storm drain regulations, the Public Health Order, and other health and safety measures. Failure to submit a new permit or to comply with the conditions outlined below will result in revocation of permits and removal of parklets.


Submit your completed application and required supporting documents via email to:
Bridgette Falconio
Parklet Project Coordinator
bfalconio@losgatosca.gov 

Please review the following guidelines before submitting your Parklet Permit Application: 

ACCESSIBILITY 

  • A minimum of a 48” unobstructed path of travel must be maintained on the sidewalk at all times and my not be obstructed with tables, chairs, retail racks, etc.  
  • At no time should tables, chairs, tents, retail racks, or other items obstruct sidewalk ramps or crosswalks.
  • At least 5 percent of the seats shall be provided as accessible dining surfaces per CBC 11B-226.  
  • The accessible table must meet the following requirements:
    1. Maintain a 2% maximum floor/ground slope in any direction.
    2. Table surface between 28 to 34 inches high.
    3. At least 27 inches of space from the floor to the bottom of the table.
    4. Knee clearance extends at least 19 inches under the table.
    5. Total clear floor area of 30 inches by 48 inches per seat.
    6. Minimum distance of 4 feet to the nearest obstruction.
    7. International Symbol of Accessibility displayed at the table.
    8. Maintain an accessible path of travel to the table.
    9. Provide an identical dining experience to the remainder of the outdoor seating areas.
  • Business operations, including customer seating, umbrellas, lighting, heaters, and other materials, must not encroach upon a single, continuous, straight, clear pedestrian path of travel of no less than:
    1. 4 feet wide on the sidewalk.
    2. Minimum 72” high clearance from walking surface.
  • When making accessibility upgrades to a parklet such as a ramp or platform, businesses may be reimbursed for 50% of the cost to build the ramp or platform, not to exceed $2,500 per parklet.  The work must be completed by a licensed contractor and approved by the Town prior to construction.  
    1. Following the completion of accessibility upgrades, contact Bridgette Falconio at BFalconio@losgatosca.gov to be processed for the grant match reimbursement. 

OVERHEAD COVERINGS 

In general, if you would like to install a covering over the parklet, you will most likely need to apply for a building permit which will be determined through the Parklet Permit Application process.    

Umbrellas are the only covering that do not require any permit review, and in most cases, the “sail” type coverings are allowed without a building permit, however businesses should consult with the Building Department prior to purchasing or installing such overhead covering.   

The following requirements shall apply to the use of tents, canopies, or any form of overhead shade/rain structures (herein referred as tents) within temporary parklets:

  • The operation of temporary parklets under tents or other membrane structures is subject to the requirements of the California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1 and Chapters 3 and 31 of the California Fire Code.
  • Tents are subject to inspection by both the Town of Los Gatos and the Santa Clara County Fire Department.
  • Tents require a Building permit if they exceed 120 square feet and are in use for more than 180 days.
  • All tent material must be treated for flame resistance in accordance with an approved State Fire Marshal method or be of a fabric that is inherently flame resistant, regardless of whether a permit is needed.
  • Tents must be adequately roped, braced, and anchored to withstand the elements and avoid collapsing.
  • Staking of tents is prohibited in the public rights-of-way. Tethering or securing tents to trees is prohibited.
  • Generally, a tent is required to have two means of egress if the occupant load exceeds 10.

TENT SECURING REQUIREMENTS

  • All tent support or legs must be weighted.
  • Each tent leg must have a minimum of 40 lbs.
    1. Items that make acceptable weights:
      • 5 gallon bucket full of sand or concrete.
      • Large commercially available tent weights.
      • Sandbags 40 lbs. or heavier.
  • Ropes and straps should be high quality.
  • Bungee or rubber straps are prohibited.
  • Weights must be on the ground and not dangling.
  • Weights and lines must not pose a hazard and be clearly visible.
  • For maximum safety, tents should be secured as soon as they are put up and brought down as soon as weight is removed.
  • Do not leave unsecured tents at any time.

Please review the guidelines on tents and canopies from Santa Clara County Fire. 

PORTABLE HEATERS

  • Portable heaters are regulated by Santa Clara County Fire.
  • Heaters may not be used or stored indoors or under a tent/canopy.  

Please review the guidelines on portable heaters from Santa Clara County Fire.  

INSURANCE 

Each business utilizing a parklet or other public right-of-way must provide the Town with proof of General Liability (GL) insurance with coverage against liabilities for death, personal injury, or property damage arising out of or in any way connected with the parklet in the minimum amount of $1,000,000.00 combined single limit, and will name the Town as additional insured under the coverage afforded. Such insurance will be primary and noncontributing with respect to any other insurance available to the Town and will include a severability of interest cross–liability clause.      

SIDEWALK ENCROACHMENT 

In general, sidewalk encroachment is prohibited unless approved and granted through the Parklet Permit process, or if the businesses has permission through their approved CUP or outdoor seating permit.  

Businesses may apply to have seating or retail racks on the sidewalk during this period of Economic Recovery when they apply for the Parklet Permit by including this information in the permit application.  As stated above, 48” unobstructed clearance must be maintained at all times.  Items approved to use the sidewalk space may only be in place during the business’ operation hours and must be removed upon closing each day.     

BUSINESS AND PROPERTY OWNER RESPONSIBILITIES

Each business is entitled to the space directly in front of their business.  In some cases, businesses may utilize space in front of a neighboring business, share a parklet area when operating hours are different, or other similar arrangements.  Utilizing space in front of a neighboring business is acceptable only when said neighboring business has given permission.    

Businesses and property owners are responsible for maintaining parklets and sidewalk areas used for commercial activities in good condition on an ongoing basis.  

The following standards must be met:

  • Canopies, tents, and similar coverings must be maintained in good condition with no fading, rips, or broken structures.  
  • Logos and business names are not allowed on the canopies, tents, or similar coverings.
  • Business owners are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the area around the parklet, including the adjacent parking spaces, sidewalk, and roadway.  The area must be kept clear of debris, leaves, and garbage.
  • Drainage must remain accessible, clear, and unobstructed, including the width of the gutter and any storm drain catch basins.  The business owner is responsible for removing all debris from under any platform or ramp structures.
  • The Town reserves the right to remove all or any portion of a parklet to provide emergency access to the storm system. 

POP-UP BUSINESSES 

Pop-up and mobile businesses have been a question that has come up on several occasions.  Because this is such a tough economic situation and the Town would like to retain and support our brick and mortar businesses, the Council provided direction that no pop-up business should operate on public property independent of an existing business. 

If you would like to “host” a pop-up business, this must be done during your operating hours as an extension of the services you are currently approved to offer, and within the confines of the business' private property. For example, you may host a trunk show or pop-up during business hours within your store to create a special shopping or dining experience, celebrate a business milestone, introduce a new product line, as a private shopping event, etc. given it meets the Public Health Order and other such parameters in place for your business.  What is not allowed is a pop-up to use public space or your outdoor patio space to operate independently and/or on a regular basis.    


Connect With Us!

Economic Vitality and Economic Recovery Resolution Inquiries 
Monica Renn
Economic Vitality Manager
mrenn@losgatosca.gov 

Project Coordinator for Parklet Permits
Bridgette Falconio 
bfalconio@losgatosca.gov 

Building Department Inquiries 
Robert Gray
Building Department
rgray@losgatosca.gov
www.losgatosca.gov/building 

Parks and Public Works Inquires 
Parks and Public Works
Engineering Department
408-399-5770

Fire Department Inquiries 
Erin Collins
Deputy Fire Marshal
Santa Clara County Fire
erin.collins@sccfd.org