Permits to Expand Outdoor Dining

Share this page:

The Colorado Springs Planning and Community Development Department is accepting temporary use and revocable permit applications to allow restaurants and bars to expand dining and consumption areas to private parking lots, sidewalks, café patio extensions, or balcony seating.

    Permits to Expand Outdoor Dining Space

    The Colorado Springs Planning and Community Development Department is accepting applications for temporary use and revocable permits to expand dining areas to private parking lots, sidewalks, café patio extensions, or balcony seating. Restaurants and bars may be eligible for adding temporary outdoor dining and consumption areas either on private parking areas, or on public sidewalks or parking areas. 

    Expand outdoor dining on PRIVATE off-street parking lots - Temporary Use Permit

    Repurposing private parking lots, landscaped areas, or other areas not previously used for seating may be allowed.

    Apply for a Temporary Use Permit

    Expand outdoor dining on PUBLIC sidewalks or parking spaces - Revocable Permit

    • Public sidewalk adjacent to the business - Adequate public pedestrian clearances must be retained
    • Public sidewalk adjacent to neighboring businesses - Must have documented consent from the neighboring property owner
    • Public on-street parking spaces – This option is to be considered when no other options are available and when parking supply and demand can be met elsewhere. Details on the number of spaces utilized and the method to protect customers from moving vehicles in the adjacent travel lane must be considered

    Appply for a Revocable Permit

      Application Requirements & Emergency Changes for 2020

        In recognition of indoor capacity limits, the City is adopting the following temporary changes to standards, policies and procedures to maximize outdoor dining and bar consumption areas:

        • Waived Fees: Submittal fees for revocable permits or temporary use permits to add outdoor dining areas or outdoor bar consumption areas are temporarily waived. Should the applicant wish to convert the temporary use of these areas to permanent areas, fees would be due at that time.
        • Expedited Review Time: The review of revocable permits and temporary use permits will be expedited to every possible extent, providing “over the counter” review when possible.  Applications that require the review of multiple City Agencies will be reviewed within 2 to 3 business days.
        • Parking Requirements: The City will not apply the standard 1 parking stall per 200 square feet of outdoor dining area requirement to temporary outdoor dining areas.  Temporary loss of required parking stalls to be utilized for outdoor dining areas is also permitted.  The facility must still provide required ADA parking stalls per Code.
        • Expiration: approved temporary outdoor dining and consumption areas will expire on September 30, 2020. 

        Application Requirements

        City Staff will allow limited, basic information on the plans for temporary outdoor dining areas.  Site plans should include the following:

        • Aerial photo showing the subject property, building location, on-site parking, and existing and proposed outdoor seating areas.
        • Dimensions of new outdoor seating areas, including approximate square footage.  While the plans don’t need to illustrate precise table counts and locations, please remember that furnishing outdoor seating areas must meet social distancing standards from County and State health agencies.
        • Revocable permit plans must document the minimum width of the adjacent public sidewalk to ensure ADA compliance.

        Other Considerations

        Temporary approval is set to expire on September 30, with the following considerations:

        • Use of public parking stalls is subject to additional limitations which may potentially include only specific days of the week or times of day (e.g. Friday / Saturday evenings), and may be permitted for shorter periods of time (e.g. 30 or 60 day trial periods).
        • All options are subject to local and State health restrictions.  New regulations affecting outdoor dining will supersede any approvals granted by the Planning Department.
        • All outdoor dining areas must utilize a physical barrier (e.g. bollard and chain, railing, etc.) to demarcate dining areas from pedestrian and/or vehicular areas.
        • The applicant must work with the City Clerk’s Office and County Health Department to modify liquor license premise plans and food services licenses.

        Liquor License Modification

        The City Clerk’s office, in compliance with the Colorado State Liquor License Enforcement Division recent rule change, is implementing a local process for the restaurant to modify their liquor licensed premises to temporarily serve alcohol in an expanded dining service area.

        BEFORE alcohol can be served from the expanded areas, an update to the business’s liquor license premise plan must be completed. 

        Restaurants are encouraged to contact El Paso County Public Health to determine any additional requirements for outdoor seating.  Contact healthinfo@elpasoco.com or (719) 578-3199 for more information.