Free, temporary permits to use the sidewalk or parking lane for business operations, like seating, dining, or personal care services.
Permits are valid until November 1, 2021.
**NEW** Installation of Semi-Permanent Structures in the Parking Lane
- Semi-permanent structures in the parking lane will be permitted through November 1, 2021
- Businesses are responsible for costs of construction of all semi-permanent structures
- Follow City of San Francisco’s Design Guidelines for using the sidewalk or parking lane for your business.
- See section “Enclosure” for covered, winterized operations
- See section “Platform” for installation of a patio deck above the street surface
- To apply for the installation of a semi-permanent structures in the parking lane
- Fill out form below and select “Public Property” & “Public Parking Spaces”
- Upload a proposed construction design/rendering in “Site Plan”
- If you already have an existing permit for use of your parking lane but intend to build a new, semi-permanent structure, please re-apply in the application below.
Tents and Membrane Structures are permitted in outdoor dining spaces. Any tents with walls that have an area > 400 sq. ft., or without walls that have an area > 700 sq. ft. require an additional permit from the Fire Department. Please note: the cost of a tent permit from the Fire Department is $240.
You may set up a tent with walls with an area < 400 sq. ft., or without walls with an area < 700 sq. ft without a permit from the Fire Department.
Common standards (See specific standards listed in three categories below)
- A minimum, unobstructed width of four (4) feet must be permanently maintained for public pedestrian passage. Furnishings and merchandise shall not be placed in a manner that obstructs access to this pedestrian passage.
- Do not block visibility for required street signs, crosswalks, and intersections.
- Movable racks and furniture must be adequately secured, so that they do not roll or are easily tipped over.
- Maintain the area free from litter and infestation from pests.
- Storm drain must be kept clear.
- All building exits and exit pathways must be kept clear.
- Access to building fire protection equipment (PIV, FDC, Riser) and sidewalk fire hydrants must be kept clear.
- All electrical outside must utilize heavy duty extension cords plugged into GFCI receptacles. Cords cannot be in an area subject to damage or creating a trip hazard. Cords cannot be hung overhead by themselves unless supported by other means (e.g. attached to a cable). Any change in elevation to facilitate electrical on the ground must meet ADA standards.
- No stacking of furnishings in outdoor areas.
- A fire extinguisher inside the building must be quickly accessible.
- Open flame (such as candles) is not permitted.
- For salons, the use of a tent, canopy, or sun shade is required, with no more than one side that may be closed
- Guidelines on installation of a tent and other winterization of outdoor operations
|New Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Regulatory Relief for Restaurants|
ABC’s COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization authorizes on-sale privileges to a property that is adjacent to the licensed premises so long as the property is under the control of the licensee, and where bona fide meals are being served and in accordance with state and local health and safety directives. Learn more.
Restaurants that wish to expand their permitted alcohol sales may do so by filing both of the following forms:
These forms may be turned into an ABC office via mail or in person. A check or money order of $100 will be accepted, no credit card payments.
DISCLAIMER: The Temporary Outdoor Dining, Retail and Salon permit applications are pilot programs and subject to change or termination at any time in the discretion of the City of San Rafael. Individual permits may also be revoked by the City if the City determines the applicant is in violation of the permit requirements. The conditional temporary permits authorized by these pilot programs are subject to all provisions of San Rafael Municipal Code Section 11.04.030, including the duty to indemnify the City of San Rafael for injuries to persons or damage to public or private property as set forth in Section 11.04.030.040.
Outdoor Dining, Retail and Salon Application
This application is for the Use of Public Sidewalks and Plazas, Use of Public Parking Spaces, and Use of Outdoor Private Property only. At this time use of City Parking Lots and City streets (other than on-street parking spaces) is not permitted for outdoor dining and retail.
If you have questions:
- Call 415-485-3355, or
- Fill out this form
- COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan (available in English, Spanish, & Vietnamese)
- Marin Recovers Guidelines for Reopening Businesses
- Reopening Resources (signage templates, where to buy PPE & cleaning supplies)
- COVID-19 Resources for San Rafael Businesses
- COVID-19 Alcoholic Beverage Control information