Just over one year after San Francisco’s first parklet was installed outside Mojo Cafe, East Bay streets are conspicuously lacking these popular islands of livable public space. That’s about to change.
This week, Oakland is expected to take the first step toward bringing parklets to the sunny side of the Bay, convening a special cross-department city task force on Thursday. Its mission is to draft a new ordinance that would allow Oakland to permit parklets as a unique type of encroachment.
“We had a lot of staff members who all thought it was a great idea, and they got together to figure out how to do it,” explained Eric Angstadt, deputy director of Oakland’s Planning and Zoning Division.
Representatives of several departments were invited, including Building Services, Planning, Parks and Recreation, and Police, but the heavy lifting, according to Angstadt, will likely come from the Community and Economic Development (CEDA) and Public Works agencies.
The group’s leadership intends to present a draft ordinance to the City Council before the council’s summer recess at the end of July. The Oakland City Council requires at least two months to “agendize” items, a deadline that is less than three weeks away. Angstadt is optimistic that the staff’s personal interest in seeing parklets come to Oakland will motivate the process to keep a brisk pace.