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Outdoor Space Activation for Businesses

To help address the potential reduction of useable indoor space, the city will allow for the temporary use of public sidewalks, private parking or common space for outdoor dining, expanded retail space and other business operations that are currently only allowed outdoors.

The Community Development Department has made it quick and easy to apply for a permit. For background on expanding outdoor areas, refer to the council memorandum.

Private property/parking lots

For temporary private property permits, including parking lots please find the application here. There is no fee for this permit. Processing time generally takes a few business days, although more complex ones may take longer. Please include a drawing with your application (hand-drawn is OK). Contact staff for a sample drawing.

Sidewalks/outdoor display/curb cafe

To support our businesses, the city is allowing certain temporary uses in the right-of-way subject to a city permit. To propose temporary use on a public sidewalk or within public parking stalls in the Village (such as a sidewalk cafe, outdoor display or curb cafe), please complete the right-of-way (use) permit application E-12 and follow the submittal requirements E-12A. This permit includes a fee of $381 for a sidewalk cafe or outdoor display. The curb cafe permit fee is $1,200 per parking space. Please note right-of-way use applications take approximately five to six days to process.

The City Council approved the temporary suspension of certain Village and Barrio development standards that impact curb cafés, sidewalk cafés and outdoor displays. These changes are not effective in the coastal zone until the city can secure a waiver from the Coastal Commission For more information you may view the council report. 

Tent permit, if required

If you propose to construct a tent/canopy, depending on the size a permit is first required from the Fire Department. The application for a tent permit can be found here.

Ready to submit or have a question?

To temporarily activate outdoor space, please complete and send your private property or right-of-way permit application to outdooractivation@carlsbadca.gov.

Contacts for questions

We will keep you informed throughout the permit process. Once you have your permit, you may temporarily expand your operations outside.We are here to support and assist you during these challenging times.