Simplified: City Councilors are considering an ordinance that would lay out rules for "parklets" downtown.

Why it matters

  • The parklet concept has been tested for the last couple of years at The Breaks Coffee Roasting Co. on East 12th Street.
  • It's essentially a way to repurpose a couple of parking spots to make room for summertime activities for shops in the downtown business district.
  • City Councilors on Tuesday passed the first reading of an ordinance to define parklets and make them an official option for downtown businesses to use them for "temporary approved activities by limited lease."
"It worked really well with The Breaks, and we want to bring this to other businesses in downtown," said Joe Batcheller, president of Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc. "(Parklets will) allow businesses to expand operations in ways they currently cannot."

What's a parklet?

It's essentially a little bonus section of a business that operates outside during the warmer months of the year.

Owner Mary Campbell said she's seen the parklet in front of The Breaks become an invaluable addition to both their business and their block.

"Parklets enhance a neighborhood in so many ways," Campbell said. "Perhaps most importantly, creating additional green, inviting outdoor spaces really helps neighbors to connect in a way they otherwise might not."

What are the proposed parklet rules?

Businesses applying for a parklet would have to adhere to the following rules:

  • Parklets cannot occupy more than two parking spots.
  • Businesses need written consent from neighboring businesses that abut the proposed parklet.
  • Parklet plans have to go through a review involving the city attorney and various city departments.
  • Parklets would need to be removed by Oct. 15 of each year.

What happens next?

City Council is expected to take a final vote on the proposed parklet rules during their April 11 meeting.

If passed, owners of The Breaks say they're excited to be able to have their parklet back for another summer.