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Outdoor Seating

Within the Public Right-of-Way

Last updated Feb. 05, 2016 - 12:55 pm

This is the process for obtaining an Outdoor Seating Permit within the public right-of-way.

Exceptions to the process

An Outdoor Seating permit is not required for establishing an outdoor seating area on private property.

Are there any pre-requisites to this process?

  • An approval letter from the Wake County Environmental Services Department stating that all local, state and federal sanitary and health regulations have been met. Contact 919-856-7400 for more information.
  • Provide a scaled drawing or site plan of architectural design standards quality showing the proposed outdoor seating area boundary and surrounding streetscape details covering seven (7) feet on either side of the frontage of the associated establishment, including, but not limited to, property lines, building frontage, sidewalks, curb lines, lighting, trees and tree sizes, tree grates, planters, parking meters, benches, street signs, bicycle parking, bus stops and fire hydrants. The drawing shall show the Article of any right-of-way to be used for the outdoor seating area and the Article to be kept clear for pedestrian use, and depict the proposed materials and placement of tables, chairs, barriers, and other furnishings within the proposed area.
  • Provide an approved Certificate of Insurance with a minimum liability of one million dollars. The City of Raleigh must be listed as an additional insured under endorsement CG 20 12 07 98. The following should be listed as the certificate holder: City of Raleigh, PO Box 590, Raleigh, NC 27602.
  • An executed Indemnity Agreement satisfactory to the City Attorney that holds harmless the City, its officers, councilors and employees, for any loss or liability or damage, including expenses and costs, for bodily or personal injury, and for property damage sustained by a person as a result of negligent installation, use or maintenance of a permitted public space within the City of Raleigh.
  • A copy of State ABC License to serve alcoholic beverages in the outdoor seating space. Contact 919-779-0700 for more information.
  • Copies of City Beer/Wine Licenses to sell alcohol, if needed.
  • A copy of the Outdoor Amplification Permit, if needed.

How do I start the process?

Accurately complete the Outdoor Seating Permit Application (doc) (pdf) and prepare the permit submittal package. Contact 919-278-6209 for more information.

What do I need to submit to the City?

  • Outdoor Seating Application (doc) (pdf)
  • The name, address, and phone number of the business
  • The name, address, and phone number of each business owner and manager
  • The hours of operation for both the business and outdoor seating area
  • A scaled drawing or site plan of architectural design standards quality showing the proposed outdoor seating area boundary and surrounding streetscape details covering seven (7) feet on either side of the frontage of the associated establishment, including, but not limited to, property lines, building frontage, sidewalks, curb lines, lighting, trees and tree size, tree grates, planters, parking meters, benches, street signs, bicycle parking, bus stops, and fire hydrants
  • Photos, a brochure, or an architectural drawing of proposed furniture and umbrella showing the style, type, color and material
  • An approved Certificate of Insurance with a minimum liability of one million dollars. The City of Raleigh must be listed as an additional insured under endorsement CG 20 12 07 98. The following should be listed as the certificate holder: City of Raleigh, PO Box 590, Raleigh, NC, 27602
  • Executed indemnity agreement
  • Fee payment of $300.00
  • Copy of State ABC license
  • Copy of City Beer/Wine License
  • Copy of outdoor amplification permit for outdoor amplification

Where do I submit my application?

The permit submittal package can be submitted to:

Office: City of Raleigh
Department: Department of City Planning
Division: Zoning Enforcement
Address: One Exchange Plaza Suite 504, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone #: 919-278-6209
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

What are the keys to success?

Submittal packages must be complete and accurate, and must include:

  • Proof of valid insurance policy that provides a minimum liability of one million dollars in the form of a Certificate of Insurance
  • Remember that the City of Raleigh must be additionally insured under endorsement CG 20 12 07 98 and proof of this must be provided

What fees are involved and when do I pay them?

The annual permit fee for Outdoor Seating is $300.00, due when permit packages are submitted at the beginning of the process.

How long will this process take?

Once a submittal package has been reviewed and deemed to be complete, an outdoor seating field inspection shall occur within 48 business hours to verify the area as shown on the drawing. The Outdoor Seating permit shall be issued within 48 business hours of an approved inspection.

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