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Santa Monica Looks To Create “Parklets” for Main Street

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

October 1, 2015 -- Looking for a way to wedge a little green space for socializing on otherwise busy Main Street, Santa Monica City officials are starting a pilot project to create two “parklets” there.

Already popular in big cities like Los Angeles, the  little parks, which the City is calling “parklets,” would be the size of two or three parking spaces, said Salvadore Valles, assistant director of the City’s Planning and Community Development Department.

Valles acknowledged that they would indeed be “very small”, but that the parklets would give pedestrians and bicyclists a chance to pause and rest or talk with each other.

“They might be in front of a café or restaurant,” he said.

The City this week put out notifications that it is accepting applications for private partners to help with the parks, which are being created at the request of Main Street Merchants Association.

Applications for parklet operators can be downloaded from the City’s Planning and Community Development Department website at

Valles said the parklets will be created by building a platform to extend an existing sidewalk into one or more on-street parking spaces.

Benches, tables, chairs, landscaping, bike parking stalls, and other amenities would be placed on the platform, creating an outdoor patio-type gathering space.

The City will design and fund the parklets’ infrastructure and give local operators -- typically an adjacent business -- creative control over design aspects such  such as furniture, landscaping, paint and decorative materials.

The selected operators of the Main Street parklets would provide day-to-day maintenance of the spaces, he said.

If the two tiny parks are a success, Valles said the city could potentially expand them elsewhere.

He said the new Main Street parks are part of the city’s attempt at “rebalancing the use of space so that walking, cycling and taking public transportation are as comfortable and convenient as driving a car.”

San Francisco was the first US city to install a parklet in 2010, and now boasts a total of 57 citywide. Outside of California the parklets are found in cities including New York, Seattle and Chicago, he said.

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