Step by step

Shared Spaces Permit Transition Timeline

Rules for Shared Spaces will go into effect gradually.

The Shared Spaces program during the pandemic. It offered a way for neighborhood businesses and community groups to operate outdoors. 

The Program activates sidewalks, curbside parking lanes, whole streets, and vacant lots. It has evolved into a model for improving economic, social, and civic wellbeing.

In 2023, Shared Spaces will complete its transition from an emergency lifeline to a permanent program.


Starting August 28, 2021

Rules starting in this phase:

  • Design for persons with disabilities: Including clear path of travel on sidewalks. Use sidewalk diverters and have at least one dining table for wheelchair users.

  •  Design for emergency response crews: Including 3-foot wide gaps every 20 feet. Additionally, removing parts of roofs that make it hard for response teams to work.

Some parklets may need to be re-sized, moved, or removed.  If this is the case at your site, you will receive communications in advance: 

  • Opening Transit Boarding Areas:  Removing Shared Spaces at transit stops.

Show more

Starting Spring 2022

Visibility at High-Injury Intersections

Some parklets near intersections may need to be re-sized, moved, or removed.

This helps pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers see each other, signage, and traffic signals. If this was the case at your site, you would have received communications in advance.

Show more

June 30, 2022

Pandemic Permits Extended

Existing Pandemic Permits expired on June 30, 2022. This includes:

  • Sidewalk tables and chairs
  • Sidewalk merchandizing
  • Parklets
  • Roadways
  • Private lots

Valid pandemic permits in good standing extend to March 31, 2023. Some permits are on hold if they do not fix ADA, emergency access, and pedestrian safety issues. Roadway (Temporary Street Closure) Permits do not extend. To operate a Roadway Temporary Street Closure on or after July 1, 2022, submit an application to renew.

Show more

September 1, 2022

Equity Grant Applications for design compliance

Get up to $2,500 to pay for your Shared Spaces improvements. You can use grants for materials or professional services.

Show more

Fall 2022

Compliance Advisories & Compliance Noticing begins

You may hear from the City about ways to make your pandemic Shared Spaces safe and accessible.

  • Compliance Advisory in your email. This will summarize all the design and placement issues at your site that the City has noted so far. It will list typical deadlines for fixing different types of issues.
  • Enforcement & Compliance Cover Sheet in person in or in your email. This is like the Compliance Advisory but includes hard deadlines. It will be part of a packet that includes:
  • Notice of Correction or Notice of Violation from Public Works. This has strict deadlines and fees if you do not respond to initial communications.
  • Notice of Violation from the San Francisco Fire Department. This has strict deadlines and fees if you do not respond to initial communications.
Show more

March 31, 2023

Applications Due for post-pandemic permits.

Businesses must have a legislated permit to operate after the pandemic program ends.

To get a legislated Shared Spaces parklet permit, you must do the following:

  • Site plan: You will need to submit a site plan that shows that your parklet will be safe and ADA accessible. 
  • Neighbor consent: You may need written consent from your neighbors, if more than half the parking space for a parklet is in front of a neighbor.
  • Review: Once we receive your completed application, we will review it and provide feedback about necessary changes, within 30 days.
  • Preliminary inspection: Once we approve your application and site plan, we will visit your site for inspection.
  • Public noticing requirements: You need to post a 10-day public notice at the proposed site. You will receive the notice for posting after a preliminary inspection is complete.
  • Construction: You have 60 days from the end of the public notice period to:
    • Make changes to your existing structure 
    • Install a new structure
    • Your structure must match your approved site plan
  • Final site visit: After construction is complete, you must notify Department of Public Works within 15 days. They will schedule a final site visit to verify your Shared Space is compliant. 
  • Permits and signage: After your Shared Space is compliant, Public Works will issue your permit and site signage.

Apply for a permit for your sidewalk or parking lane

Apply for a roadway activation

Show more

Starting April 1, 2023

Pandemic Shared Spaces Program ends and the legislated Shared Spaces Program begins.

Some parklets may need to be re-sized, moved, or removed.  If this is the case at your site, you will receive communications in advance. 

  • Color curb reinstatement: Ensures there is adequate space on the block, including:
    •  Disabled
    • Passenger 
    • Commercial loading
  • Maximum 2 parking spaces: Allows for more merchants to have the opportunity to operate a parklet. We will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Parklets must follow these rules of the legislated program on or after April 1, 2023:

  • Public benches: All parklets must have a seating area that is open to the public, indicated with a sign.
  • 3-foot setback: All parklet structures should be set back from the end of the marked parking space. This allows access for emergency responders. The setback is not required where the parking space is next to a red curb.

Roadway Street closures will begin receiving barricades and signs from the City. You no longer need to get these items on your own.

Show more

Starting April 1, 2023

180 Day Grace Period Begins

In February 2023, San Francisco passed a new legislation to create a grace period for pandemic parklet operators. They will have 180 days to transition to the post-pandemic program. If you are a Pandemic-parklet operator, you have until September 27, 2023 to:

  • Update your Shared Spaces to meet design requirements
  • Receive final site inspections and get a legislated permit
  • Keep your parklets during the grace period. But you must submit a permit application by March 31, 2023 and show you are making progress towards establishing compliance.

Making progress means:

  • You have submitted a permit application
  • You show timely responses to questions about your application. This can include: 
    • Change your site plans to follow the Shared Spaces Design Guidelines
    • Provide other required documents or information
    • You are making progress on fixes for accessibility and safety
Show more

Permit fees begin assessment

If you get a post-pandemic permit, you will receive a bill for permit and business license fees on the Unified License Bill in Q1 2024.

Show more

May 30, 2023

You must remove your Pandemic Shared Spaces if you did not submit a post-pandemic permit application by March 31, 2023. That is the end of the pandemic program. May 30th, 2023 is the end of a 60-day wind down period following the pandemic permit program. You can get penalties if you fail to remove your illegal Shared Space

Show more

June 28, 2023

On June 28, 2023 the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation to waive permit fees for all parklet permits approved before July 1, 2024.  The Board also voted to expand eligibility for fee waivers. Businesses whose gross receipts are less than $2.5 mill now qualify for a 50% fee reduction. The fee reduction applies to annual license fees. Please find the passed legislation here

Show more

September 27, 2023

The grace period for pandemic permit holders ended September 27th. All permit holders transitioning to post-pandemic program must have complete applications, updating their Shared Spaces to meet design requirements within 60-days of city approving application, and then pass a city inspection to get  a new permit.

Show more

Last updated February 9, 2024