Sidewalk Encroachment Permit

Sidewalk encroachment permits may be granted for the use of a portion of public right-of-way for the purpose of providing seating, food and beverages, sidewalk sales, and the like and for a structure or statue related to a City-coordinated program.

The City Manager retains the right to limit the total number of sidewalk encroachment permits.

Issuance of a permit shall not be construed as authorizing any permanent installation to be placed in the public right-of-way. 

General Encroachment Requirements

  • A minimum of 6’ unobstructed pedestrian zone shall be maintained on the public sidewalk at all times for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • No fire exits or lanes may be blocked and must remain clear at all times. Emergency entries and exits shall be maintained according to the approved site plan and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • The use of the public sidewalk under an encroachment permit shall not be an exclusive use. All public improvements, including, but not limited to, trees, light poles, traffic signals, pull boxes or manholes, or any public-initiated maintenance procedures, shall take precedence over said use of the public sidewalk at all times.
  • Statues and structures related to a City-coordinated program may be fixed to the sidewalk. 

Sidewalk Sale Requirements

  • Merchandise must be located in front of permit-holder's business. 
  • Merchandise cannot block building entrances or exits. 

Sidewalk Café Requirements

The general layout of the sidewalk cafés shall comply with the following considerations: 

  • Where possible, sidewalk cafés shall be located in the amenity zone. 
  • The location shall consider the placement of existing public infrastructure. 
  • If a sidewalk cafe is adjacent to a parking area or a traffic lane, a barrier such as a planter, decorative fencing, or the like shall be installed to separate the sidewalk cafe from the curb and street. Ropes or chains are not adequate barriers.
  • The arrangement and number of tables and chairs within the authorized boundaries of the sidewalk café shall reflect the approved plan and shall not be substantially changed, altered, or added to without the approval by the city manager.

Alcohol service:

  • No alcoholic beverages shall be allowed in a sidewalk café except with the appropriate license issued by the city under City Code Chapter 117. 
  • All sidewalk cafés serving alcohol shall include demarcation of the outdoor serving area. Methods of demarcation may be a fence, wall, landscaping or other means if deeded acceptable by City Council at the time of liquor licensure. 

Smoking. Smoking is prohibited in sidewalk café areas.

Operation and equipment standards:

  • The tables, chairs and other furnishings shall not be fixed to the sidewalk and shall be easily movable, but heavy enough to sustain strong winds. Acceptable weather-resistant materials include wrought iron, cast iron, aluminum, and lumber-grade HDPE plastic. Evidence of durability shall be provided in the permit application. Compliance with the City Council approved guidelines for outdoor furnishings is required.
  • Tables, chairs and other furnishings shall be locked by the permit holder at the end of each business day.
  • Tables, chairs, and any other components of the approved permit use shall be neatly stacked and organized at the end of each business day in a manner which will result in minimal intrusion into the public right-of-way.
  • While such café is in operation, all tables and chairs shall be kept in a clean, sanitary condition. 
  • Permit holders are responsible for the off-season storage of tables, chairs, and other furnishings at the termination of the permit.
  • Receptacles for waste or dirty dishes, and cooking appliances shall not be placed or stored on any portion of the sidewalk. The business owner shall ensure that the area is properly maintained and litter free.

Expiration and Renewal

 A sidewalk café permit is valid from May 1 to November 15, or the first significant snowfall, whichever comes first.

Insurance Required

No sidewalk encroachment permit shall be effective until evidence of insurance has been filed with the city insuring against liability imposed by law arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or operation under such permit in an amount of $500,000. The city shall be named as an additional insured in the policy, providing such insurance and such policy shall further provide that it may not be canceled except upon 10 days' written.

Permit Suspension or Revocation

  • Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit and all requirements of this chapter may result in the termination of the sidewalk encroachment permit. 
  • Written notice of suspension or revocation, stating the causes therefor, shall be mailed to the permittee to the address as shown in the permit application.
  • After revocation, such use of the public sidewalk shall cease and no tables or chairs or other encumbrances of the sidewalk may remain.


  • A sidewalk encroachment applicant or permit holder that has been denied a permit; or has had a permit revoked may have the denial or revocation reviewed, upon written request, by the City Council.
  • The City Council shall act on a timely written request within 45 days of receipt, provided the applicant or permit holder has submitted its appeal with sufficient time to include the appeal as a regular agenda item. A decision by the City Council affirming the denial or revocation will be in writing and supported by written findings establishing the reasonableness of the decision.

Application Requirements

  • Site plan drawn to scale that depicts property lines, curbs, existing facilities, existing obstructions within the public right of way, and the proposed location of privately-owned furnishings (tables, chairs, plant tubs, planters, structures, statues, tables, clothing racks, shelving, carts, fencing or barricades, etc.).
  • Insurance against liability in the amount of $500,000. The city shall be named as an additional insured in the policy.
  • Sidewalk café furniture requirements
    • Weather resistant – acceptable materials include wrought iron, cast iron, aluminum, lumber grade HDPE plastic.
    • Evidence of durability is required at the time of application.
  • Sidewalk cafés serving alcohol
    • Demarcation or area is required – for example, a fence, wall, or landscaping
    • Require an amendment to their liquor license

Sidewalk Encroachment Permit

Code Reference: 94.22
Annual Permit Valid May 1-November 15
Refer to the Right-of-Way Permit section of the Fee Schedule

Apply online here