With COVID-19 restrictions still in effect, some businesses may see less customer traffic requiring fewer parking stalls.
In the City of Spokane Valley, a business may request a temporary or permanent reduction in the number of its off-street parking stalls, allowing for the space to be utilized in other ways.
Restaurants may use parking space for outdoor dining or queuing for curbside pick-up, or a retail business may move product displays/racks outside to garner attention. A permit is not required for outdoor seating on private property in the city; however, a Special Event Permit is required to use or obstruct public sidewalk or right-of-way.
The city can grant a reduction of up to 25% of the required number of off-street parking stalls, when requested by a business. In Spokane Valley, a restaurant requires 1 stall per 250 square feet; a retail business 1 stall per 350 square feet; and a winery or brewery 1 stall per 1,000 square feet. Businesses that are unsure how many stalls they need and how many may be eliminated can contact the city’s Permit Center.
Keep these tips in mind:
Obstructing fire access or ADA spaces is prohibited.
Signs may not block the "clearview triangle" area where driveways and streets intersect.
Encourage coordination with neighboring businesses, such as sharing parking during off- hours.
Mobile food vendors may also want to use parking stalls. These vendors only need to obtain permission of the property owner to operate on the premises; no city permit is required.
Email the Permit Center or call 509.720.5240 to find out if your business may qualify for a reduction in parking spaces. City staff can also provide guidance on restricted indoor occupancy load/capacity.
The city allows a business to utilize two temporary signs at any one time without obtaining a permit. If additional temporary signs are needed for a "special event or promotion," a business can apply for a "special event" temporary sign permit to utilize more than two temporary signs. The sign permit is limited to 60 days and can be used twice in a calendar year.
The city has determined that the phase 2 COVID-19 reopening (and future phases) are special events, allowing businesses to utilize additional signage.
Permit applications take about 10 minutes to complete and require a simple site plan showing where signs will be located. A business can apply via the city’s online permit portal or download the application. The permit fee is $50. The 2.5% convenience fee for paying online with a credit card is being waived at this time.
Temporary signs are limited to 32 square feet in area (4 by 8 feet, for example).
Restaurants that have historically provided dine-in food services may consider transitioning to a “retail like” operation that offers customers packaged specialty food products and takeout foods. Specialty retail products could include crafted foods, beverage mixes, spices, salad dressings and even merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs and other promotional products!
It is worth noting that a review by the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is not generally required to replace dine-in restaurants with retail “pick-up” food services as long as a menu is not significantly changed. Contact SRHD at 509.324.1560 or visit SRHD.org for more information.
To learn more about the above information, email the Permit Center or call 509.720.5240.