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Parklets and Outdoor Dining

Parklets and Outdoor Dining

Summer is here, and COVID-19 restrictions are easing. Our resilient community is ready to enjoy a Mallee Summer once again. One exciting way to expand street life activities while maintaining a safe, socially-distanced environment is through our outdoor dining Parklet Program.

A Parklet is the re-purposing of parking bays outside a hospitality business, in the interest of increasing footpath trading and providing a safe, socially distanced environment for patrons. These are currently available subject to conditions and a demonstrated need, until April 2021, to support outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parklets will aid in managing the immediate challenges associated with the phased opening of business activity in response to COVID-19. By increasing trading areas, hospitality businesses expanded with Parklets will be able to increase trade and public frontage/exposure to ensure social distancing regulations are upheld.

Benefits to the local community include:

  • Provision of a new way to dine out;
  • Provision of safe social distancing space for patrons during the transition to COVID-19 normal trading.

Benefits to the host include:

  • Heightened visibility and street presence;
  • Opportunity to extend seating and offer outdoor dining options in COVID-19 safe conditions.

Parklets are repurposed car parking spaces designed to extend seating and offer outdoor dining options for COVID-19 affected hospitality businesses.

Below image is an example only: this is not a representation of Swan Hill Parklets.

Hospitality businesses can host a Parklet to extend their outdoor dining options. They will need to show evidence of capacity reductions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

There is no fee for obtaining a Parklet for extending your outdoor dining. This will be covered by the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package. If you are successful with your Parklet application you will need to cover the cost of furnishing the Parklet.

A Works within Road Reserve permit and MOA Memorandum of Authorization (MOA) will also be granted at no cost. Council will assist businesses to complete this.

Council will be purchasing the same Parklet for all successful applications. Businesses can choose to decorate and furnish the Parklet in their own individual style, without making changes to the original Parklet build. Council approved bollards will need to be placed around Parklet for safety.

These are currently available subject to conditions and a demonstrated need, however at this state they will be provided free of charge until April 2021. This will be assessed closer to the date, while current and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions will be taken into account when assessing this need.

If your business is selected to be a Parklet host, you will be responsible for the maintenance, furnishing and upkeep of the Parklet until April 2021.

Ongoing Operations and Maintenance

Throughout the duration of the arrangement, appropriate audit / surveillance activities should be conducted on a regular basis (both during and outside of business operating hours). This includes:

  • Cleaning and maintenance of the Parklets, barricades and contents within the Parklet, will be the responsibility of the business;
  • Ensuring temporary infrastructure remains in place;
  • Ensuring furniture and equipment in the on-road dining area does not become a hazard to road users or block essential and/or emergency vehicles;
  • Ensuring litter isn’t blocking drainage infrastructure; and
  • Ensuring the site is free of debris which could impact passing road or footpath users.
  • Safety and security after hours - confirming that all items are being removed from the space daily.

Where any issues are encountered, they must be rectified promptly to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians.

The Parklet will be removed on or before 30 April 2021, unless otherwise agreed by Council.

  • You must show that you have minimum $20 million public liability insurance and have informed your insurer of the Parklet;
  • If you intend to serve alcohol in your Parklet, you must apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for a red line extension, before you receive a permit. A Council local law permit is required;
  • As this program is a trial, you will work with Council to evaluate the effectiveness / benefits of the Parklet, not only for your business but also for the community. Evaluations may include promoting digital surveys for your patrons, intermittent photographic evidence, people counts, and increase in business revenue data.
  • For furniture inside the Parklet: Maximum table height = 0.8m - Maximum seat/bench height = 0.5m - Number of tables would be determined based on meeting physical distancing requirements at the time (1.5m). Umbrellas if used, would need to be secured and comply with a high/very high wind zone loading;
  • All businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place and must ensure expanded outdoor dining arrangements meet all COVIDSafe requirements under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act. You can consult Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to ensure you are compliant with the current directions in force;
  • The applicant must adhere to Council’s Community Local Law No. 2 and the Trading Code of Practice;
  • You must abide by COVID-19 safe regulations and ensure implementation as required.
  • If you haven’t already, you may wish to apply for the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, which is providing grants of up to $5,000 to help make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer. This grant closes on the 11.59pm on 11 December 2020.
  • COVID-19 safe social distancing and risk plans will be required before final sign off and adhered to for the duration of the Parklet. For example provision of hand sanitiser dispensers that are regularly refilled, ensuring facilities are adequately cleaned and disinfected prior to and after each use. Please note that it is the business’ (not Council) responsibility for ensuring a COVID-19 Safe environment.
For more information
Economic Development Unit
Phone: (03) 5032 3033