Thursday, June 24, 2021

Under the Sun debuts parklet

Staff Writer | June 3, 2021 1:00 AM

When Under the Sun’s owner Kendall Cady first heard about the city’s proposed parklet program she was “gung-ho for it.”


Under the Sun parklet (Photo by Rose Shababy)


Under the Sun parklet (Photo courtesy of Kendall Cady)

“We kind of like interesting, weird little projects like this,” she continued. “It’s kind of our thing. We have the perfect downtown for it, [be]cause it’s not super high traffic and it just makes sense.”

The parklet program was first proposed by city administrator Lisa Ailport in 2020 but was shelved due to the pandemic. The extra year gave Kady time to plan for it. “We’d kind of been squirrelling away in case we were able to do it the next year,” she said, also acknowledging that there is an initial investment to build the parklet.

“But you get to keep it,” she added. It’s a one time investment that you can reuse year after year.

The parklet she erected has a rustic, inviting style. “It’s fun to give our downtown and community fun things like this,” she said. “Visually, it makes you go, ‘I want to go see what this is.’”

She believes it will be good for business as well. It catches the eye so it “just makes sense traffic wise [...] the more flashiness you can add to your business the better chance you’ll get them to pull off and spend time down here.”

The parklet will be up until the beginning of October, or before the first snow. It’s the first in downtown Bonners Ferry and she hopes other businesses “see this one and are inspired by it.”

Cady said they were able to design the parklet partially using the city guidelines, but the internet and Pinterest were “a savior.” She also stressed that she “could have never done this without Lisa [Ailport] [...] she made it very user friendly, getting the permits and everything. She gets the award for making it happen.”

“I want to stress that it’s a public space so anyone can sit,” she added. “It should be for everybody.”

“The City is excited to learn from this pilot program for parklets in city streets,” Ailport commented. “The expectation of the pilot program would be to gain knowledge about success of what permanent adoption of this code could be. With that in mind, we are looking for feedback from the owner and user experience and we encourage the public to provide us feedback in person or by using our city website to leave their comments.”