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Permit Process Supports Outdoor Service Area

Permit Process Supports Outdoor Service Area

March 3, 2021

Last summer, the City of Cedar Rapids created a streamlined permit process to allow temporary outdoor service areas on private property and public sidewalk areas. This program supports commercial business' ability to serve patrons while also promoting social distancing. Permit applications are once again available this year, and would apply to establishments such as restaurants, bars, retail, and fitness centers. Examples of outdoor services could include patio dining or merchandise display.

There is no fee for processing this outdoor service application; standard permitting and fees apply to alcohol licensing. Businesses who applied for the outdoor service area permit last year would need to reapply for this calendar year. The permit would expire December 31, 2021.

“As our community continues to face health concerns related to COVID-19, we want to ensure our local businesses can begin planning early for how they might want to creatively practice social distancing this coming spring and summer,” says Community Development Director Jennifer Pratt.

Interested businesses can complete an Outdoor Commercial Services permit application online. For questions, please contact the City’s Development Services Division by calling 319-286-5836 or by emailing zoning@cedar-rapids.org.

Participating businesses are responsible for the following:

  • ADA accessible routes between parking, services, and restrooms will be maintained.
  • Combined occupancy of the new outdoor area and existing building does not exceed the original total occupancy of the building.
  • Minimum number of parking spaces including ADA accessible spaces are provided if private property is used.
  • Liability insurance is provided if the public right-of-way is used. 
  • Businesses need to follow all State guidelines on sanitation/limited capacity/social distancing

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