Two structures added to McKinney’s downtown area in 2020—comprised of fenced dining areas with seats, tables and umbrellas—are set to stay.

These structures, called parklets, were created to help create additional outdoor seating areas for restaurants that may have been struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic, city staff said at the time. The parklet program was established on a temporary basis as the city launched this experiment but was created with the provision that it could be extended or made permanent. On Dec. 7, McKinney City Council agreed to make the parklets permanent.

“I think it’s been a nice addition to the vibrancy of downtown,” Mayor George Fuller said about the parklets during the meeting.

There are two parklets downtown: one in front of CT Provisions Cocktail Parlor & Kitchen on West Louisiana Street, and the other in front of Huge Cafe on East Virginia Street. If the council had chosen not to take action, the parklet program was set to expire in December, staff said.

The parklets are owned by McKinney Main Street and will be able to be rented by individuals. The parklets will be managed by the Main Street board, and permits and agreements will be managed by the planning office, staff said. With the modified ordinance, the city will set an application fee and establish an annual rental fee for the cost of the parking spaces.