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Tulsa City Council Agrees To Waive Fees On Outdoor Dining Space Permits Through March 2022

Downtown Coordinating Council

The Tulsa City Council has voted to waive application fees for sidewalk cafés and parklets for another year.

The outdoor spaces have provided an option for restaurant patrons wary of lingering indoors during the pandemic, helping businesses in the process as they dealt with plummeting sales. Downtown Coordinating Council Executive Director Brian Kurtz says with a lot of employers within the IDL still having employees work from home, businesses haven’t fully recovered.

"More than 95% of our business community is comprised of locally owned — Tulsans who are owning and operating these businesses and employing other Tulsans to work there, and as much as we can do to support them in these continued times of need is a much-appreciated thing," Kurtz said.

Payton Wynes with the Tulsa Planning Office told councilors all but two current permits are downtown because of guidelines for the spaces.

"One of the major restricting requirements with the programs is that, like, specifically in the cases of the parklets that they have to be on a street that’s under 25 mph. So, that limits a lot of them to downtown, and that’s why you’ll see a lot of primarily the parklets downtown and sidewalk cafés," Wynes said.

Sidewalk café permits run $150 for a new application or $105 for a renewal. Parklet permits are more because businesses must also pay fees for the parking spaces they occupy. They range from $685 for a public parklet permit renewal to almost $1,400 for a new, private parklet.

More information and applications for the programs are on the Tulsa Planning Office website.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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