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Activate the Right of Way

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AROW Stands for Activate the Right-of-Way. It's purpose is to beautify, activate, and promote our city by working with the business community to enhance portions of the public right-of-way.

OUR MISSION Is to create spaces that cultivate and spur economic growth and income to local merchants by encouraging pedestrian traffic.

THE PROGRAM Focuses on two areas of activation: outdoor displays and outdoor dining areas in the City's right-of-way and public spaces.


This program is intended for community organizations or local small businesses interested in activating public
spaces. AROW participants can enhance city sidewalks and selected city sites with outdoor displays and
outdoor dining areas. The purpose of the program is to create spaces that encourage connections between the
community and local merchants through place based experiences.

Eligible participants of the AROW program include businesses fronting on the public right-of-way and located
on the first floor of a commercial property and local community-based organizations operating as non-profit.

 What is placemaking?
Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine
and reinvent public spaces as the heart of the

How will placemaking benefit my business?
Quality places retain and attract skilled and talented
people. Talented people like places with natural,
community, social, leisure, creative, and cultural
activities for themselves and their families!

What is considered outdoor dining?
Any temporary dining area that is not considered to
be an "enclosed" space.

What is considered outdoor displays?
Displays must be customary with that type of
business and consistent with or comparable to the
types of uses of that business.

What is the purpose of an outdoor display?
Outdoor display area should be used as a way to
attract customer's into your business, not to sell the
item(s) on display.

Is the sale of alcohol permitted through the
AROW program?

No, if you are interested in selling or serving alcohol
you must first obtain an ABC license and an official
outdoor cafe permit from the City of National City.

Will I need additional insurance?
Yes, and this will be determined on a case by case

Additional Information
Enhancements are permitted in the public right-ofway
only during business hours. Storage of these
items shall be within the building during non business