A structure known as the “patio parking lot” could allow residents and tourists to safely enjoy food and drink downtown.
The Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce and the Moose Jaw Downtown Association want to install these patios in downtown parking lots as spaces open to the public, although the patios are not directly tied to any business.
“The intention of the public car parks (is) to create excitement for the new parking deck program and to create spaces that the public can (use) while enjoying food and drink from nearby businesses.” , explained a city council report. “Box parklets are easy to create, portable and attractive. “
The chamber and the downtown association would be responsible for maintaining the parks and meeting building code standards when constructing the structure. They would also be responsible for receiving written permission from adjacent landowners to place the box parklet near businesses.
The structure must comply with regulations applicable to parking decks under the policy of expanding activities for sidewalks, boulevards and parking lots, the report continued. Any other organization, business or individual who wishes to apply for a public parking terrace would be subject to the same requirements.
“The idea is not currently (in use) by many other cities, which allows Moose Jaw to lead a new initiative,” the report adds. “The terraces of public car parks help promote dynamism and attract more people to the city center. “
At the regular meeting of June 28, council voted unanimously that parking terraces not directly associated with a business be allowed on public sidewalks, boulevards and downtown parking spaces, subject to the approval of adjacent owners and all other policy requirements.
Heather Bergdahl, office administrator at the chamber of commerce, explained that the 13-foot parklet would allow the chamber to be a leader in creating adjoining dining spaces where guests can safely eat.
“The chamber supports positive cultural change for downtown businesses. The bedroom will find an appropriate location to install the pop-up patio, a space that becomes a place… ”, she declared. “The chamber will pay in full for the entire structure of the parklet.”
The chamber will create a lottery among businesses for a store to receive the structure up front, Bergdahl continued. Once assigned, the structure will be designed, built and painted on site to generate interest in the community.
While few companies have requested to have pop-up terraces next to them, the chamber believes others will want to participate after the box parklet is installed, she added. The organization also believes that this structure will generate interest this summer and the following summers.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea. I love the visual effect it’s going to have,” Coun said afterwards.
The next regular council meeting will be on Monday July 12th.