The Menomonie city council Monday unanimously re-approved a plan for city restaurants to create “parklets” or “pedlets” — miniature outdoor dining spots — from May through October this year.
Under the agreement, up to three restaurants in the city’s Central Business District can use two parking spots next to the restaurant as outdoor dining spaces, or parklets.
The council voted in 2017 to allow the Duke and Dagger and up to two others to create a parklet.
In the 2017 plan, the Duke and Dagger planned a parklet with green space, a solid floor, seating along wooden benches and three “walls.”
Tables would be bolted to the floor, and umbrellas and chairs would be brought in at night.
The new plan, which lasts from May 1 to October 31 this year, also allows pedlets — similar dining spaces on parts of public sidewalks next to the parent restaurant.
The new plan also allows up to three restaurants in the Central Business District create parklets or pedlets.
The city hasn’t had problems with the Duke and Dagger’s parklet in the past two years, Mayor Randy Knaack said Monday. No other Menomonie restaurant has created one.
If a restaurant wants to create a parklet or pedlet, it must apply with the city, submit a detailed plan and have at least a $1 million commercial liability insurance policy.
The city parking utility will make a recommendation; the city council will have the final say.
The city fire department and building inspector must also review the application and site plan.
Parklets or pedlets must be in an area with a 25 mph speed limit or slower, though “streets with higher speed limits may be considered on a case-by-case basis,” according to the plan.
Parklets and pedlets must also be outlined with reflective tape and “protective barriers,” according to the plan.
Alcohol can only be served at a parklet or pedlet if the restaurant has an alcohol license.
“It makes our town feel warm, with people sitting outside. I think this is a very good idea,” council member Mary Solberg said Monday.
The city council Monday approved a formal agreement with the Menomonie Baseball Association involving concessions at Wakanda Park this summer.
The city has had an informal “handshake agreement” with the MBA in past years, said Menomonie Recreation Supervisor Julie Stratton. The MBA would buy and sell concessions, using the park facilities, between April and September.
The council voted unanimously Monday to pass the one-year formal agreement. The MBA can sell concessions at Wakanda Park from April 1 through September 1 this year during games and tournaments, and must pay the city $300 for utility costs.
The MBA also conducts maintenance and improves the fields each year, Knaack said.
“The baseball association has done a great job managing. We just want to get that on paper,” said Public Works Director Randy Eide.
In other city news
The city council Monday voted to approve a final plan for student housing project The Heights, a $10 million, 171-bed student complex that will sit at 17th Avenue West and Broadway Street South.
The council narrowly approved a development agreement for the project in April.
The four-story complex will sit on 2.37 acres, just southwest of the Don and Nona Williams Stadium. The city is looking for more detail on its retaining wall and exterior lights, but the final plan conforms to the city’s requirements, Eide said Monday.