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Puyallup, WA – The Puyallup City Council, at their September 28, 2021 meeting, approved extending the City’s Outdoor Dining Program for another year. Additionally, the Council approved making the City’s Food Truck Pilot Project into a permanent program. These decisions mark a key milestone towards enhancing dining options in Puyallup.
Mayor Julie Door comments on Council’s decision to continue both programs. “From our perspective on Council, these programs were a tremendous success in helping our local business community,” says Door. “I am glad that we decided to move forward with these programs. But we did ask staff to make a few adjustments to the programs. For the Parklets, we’d like to open them during the winter and see if there is demand. For the Food Trucks, we added a new requirement that they not compete with permitted events in town.”
Council authorized extending the Parklet program to October 31, 2022. In addition, Council approved that businesses be allowed to operate them during the winter months on a demand basis. In the coming weeks ahead, City staff will begin the process of inspecting and modifying the parklets to prepare them for winter usage. As part of this process, staff will install covered metal roofs on the parklets.
Meredith Neal, Economic Development Director for the City, discusses the success of both programs.
“What we heard from our downtown businesses was that these programs were vital to their survival,” says Neal. “Our businesses were devastated by the closures due to COVID, especially those in the restaurant and retail sector. Those businesses were some of the first to close and the last to reopen at full capacity. Being able to take advantage of this program, especially the Parklets, was what helped them weather this unprecedented event. Now that we have approval from Council to move forward, we will start implementing a few new elements that we think the business community will appreciate.”
In addition to extending the Parklet Program, Council also authorized the Food Truck Pilot Program to be permanent through a licensing system. Staff are currently working on modifications to the program, which will help streamline the process of obtaining a license. This includes re-evaluating certain permit and insurance requirements and adding a rule about Food Trucks being located away from special events.
Both programs began in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to allow businesses to utilize the public right-of-way for outdoor dining. The Puyallup is Open (Air) Pilot program contains four different options that businesses could choose from, which are Sidewalk Cafes, Parklets, Retail & Dining Pop-ups, or Street Cafes. Since launching the program, seven downtown restaurants signed up as Parklets, which are temporary seating areas located in an on-street parking space. Since launching the Food Truck Pilot Program, 20 locally owned businesses have obtained permits to operate in Puyallup.
For more information about the Puyallup is Open (Air) Pilot Program, please visit our website page here. To learn more about our Food Truck Program, please visit our website page here.
For questions regarding each program, please contact Meredith Neal, Economic Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.