02 - Sidewalk Dining

Revised on 06-22-2020

A sidewalk dining permit is a Revocable "R" Permit to grant a conditional encroachment for restaurants to occupy the adjacent right-of-way for dining purposes. Sidewalk Dining is currently a Sidewalk Dining in the Public Right of Way Policy from the Board of Public Works.  This Policy was updated on April 3, 2019 and included several recommendations adopted by the Board of Public Works. 

REQUIREMENTS


Image of sidewalk diningGeneral Sidewalk Dining

Once an application has been received, BOE Staff should confirm the following items are included in the completed application.  This also applies to new permits issued when there is a change in restaurant ownership.  Sidewalk Dining information below comes from the Revised Policy from the Board of Public Works on 4/3/19, the Previous Board Report dated April 10, 2006, and current BOE processes.  

  1. Sketch with dimensions:  Should also include all existing street furniture protruding above the finished surface of the sidewalk such as streetlights, power poles, fire hydrants, news racks, street trees & tree wells, parking meters, street signs, etc. 
  2. Copy of the Deed/Lease Agreement:  If not the land owner, the building lessees must provide written approval for sidewalk dining from the landowner through a lease agreement.
  3. Fees:
    1. Sidewalk Dining Permit Processing Fee - Applications for all new revocable permits for sidewalk dining shall be charged the Tier 2 "Field Investigation Required" fee per the current BOE fee schedule, "Standard Fees, Charges and Deposits". 

      Tier 3 Revocable Permit Fee for the cases where Board approval is required to deviate from the sidewalk policy or there is a request to appeal a BOE decision to the Board.

       
    2. Image of sidewalk diningSewerage Facility Charge (SFC) – SFC fees shall be required for all additional outdoor seating based on the number of seats allowed.
    3. Change in Ownership:  A change in ownership shall require a new sidewalk dining permit and require new fees .
      1. No Changes to the Layout:  A Tier 1 Revocable Permit Fee shall be required if no changes are proposed to the layout of the existing dining area.
      2. Changes to the Layout - A Tier 2 "Field Investigation Required" fee per the current BOE fee schedule, "Standard Fees, Charges and Deposits". shall be charged.

        Tier 3 Revocable Permit Fee for the cases where Board approval is required to deviate from the sidewalk policy or there is a request to appeal a BOE decision to the Board.


        Refer to paragraph 7 for fee schedule if changes are proposed to the layout of the existing dining area
  4. Proof of Sufficient Liability Insurance:  Insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000.  Proof of liability insurance shall be renewed annually with the Risk Management Group of the City Administrative Officer.
  5. Waiver of Damages Signed, Notarized and as Appropriate Recorded with the County of Los Angeles:  City staff to prepare this for the applicant. If the land owner is applying for the R Permit, they would be required to have the Waiver of Damages recorded with the County of Los Angeles.  If a tenant is applying  for an R Permit, the Waiver of Damages is NOT recorded with the County of Los Angeles.  If there is a change in permit ownership, a new Proof of Liability Insurance and new Waiver of Damages will be required to be signed and notarized.  The Waiver of Damages  form would only be recorded with the County of Los Angeles IF the property owner is also the permit owner.
  6. Confirm the proposed location is in the public right-of-way:  Sidewalk dining may be allowed  in any portion of the sidewalk area fronting a property provided that an acceptable PAR is provided along the frontage of the portion of the property proposed to contain sidewalk dining, and when applicable, connecting to the property entrance.
  7. Minimum Clearance: Confirm that a 4-foot clear space between encroachments (tables and chairs) and obstructions, such as power poles, street lights, parking meters and trees has been maintained as the Pedestrian Access Route (PAR).  The minimum required clear space between encroachments (tables and chairs) and fixed street amenities such as poles, parking meters, tree wells, street lights and signs shall be four feet, provided that ADA compliant passing areas are provided at 200 foot intervals.
  8. Umbrellas:  Umbrellas must be approved by BOE personnel and have a 7-foot minimum clearance
  9. Planters:  If the Applicant selects plants listed in the Residential Parkway Landscaping Guidelines, BSS will not have to review the plant selection.  Otherwise, BSS must be reviewed the plants.  The planter itself will be reviewed by BOE staff for appropriateness.  BOE counter staff may consult with the Design Standards and Investigation Group, if necessary.
  10. Alcohol:  Serving alcohol requires a Conditional Use Permit from the Department of City Planning and a permit from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.  Because alcohol falls under the jurisdiction of those entities and not the Board, sidewalk dining permits will allow for serving or possessing alcohol within the sidewalk dining area provided proper permits and approvals are obtained for such use from the appropriate agencies.
  11. LAMC 12.03 (Outdoor Eating Area) Compliance:  Confirm the Sidewalk Dining application comply with LAMC 12.03 (Outdoor Eating Area) and the Zoning Administrator's Interpretation (ZAI) of zoning regulations related to outdoor dining in ZAI 1808 (Dining Terraces or Outdoor Patio Dining, August 18, 1961) as applied to private property by the Department of Building & Safety (DBS).  LAMC 12.03 reads as follows:
    1. OUTDOOR EATING AREA:  When used in Sections 12.12.2, 12.13, 12.14, 12.21.1 and 12.24, this term shall refer to a covered or uncovered portion of a ground floor restaurant which is not completely enclosed within the building; is used primarily for the consumption of food and/or drinks by the patrons of the restaurant; and is not larger than 50 percent of the dining area of the ground floor restaurant. A “ground floor” restaurant refers to any restaurant with an average finished floor elevation either below or not more than three feet above natural grade as measured from any point along the exterior building wall closest to the restaurant.  (Amended by Ord. No. 165,403, Eff. 2/17/90.)
  12. Allowable Number of Seats:  The allowable number of seats shall be determined by the available dining area. The available dining area shall comply with the LAMC Section 12.03 (Outdoor Eating Area), as applied to private property by the Department of Building and Safety, which is an area no larger than 50 percent of the dining area of the ground floor restaurant.
  13. Attached Railings/Fences:  Fixed railings or barriers (30-inch minimum/42-inch maximum in height) shall be required if the clear space between the sidewalk dining area to the curb or other fixed amenities is less than five feet. If the clear space is five feet or more, rails or barriers are not required. Non-fixed rails may be allowed when the clearance is five feet or more, subject to BOE approval.  Attached railings/fences shall be installed by obtaining an A-Permit and installed at locations approved by BOE (except Hollywood Walk of Fame).
    1. Aisle ADA Compliance:  Aisle widths must meet ADA and Fire Code requirements within the railed sidewalk dining area
  14. Visibility Triangle:  No encroachments are within the visibility triangle as described in LAMC 62.200.
  15. Awning:  Existing or proposed awnings hanging above the sidewalk dining area will require a LADBS building permit
  16. ADA Compliant Sidewalks:  BOE staff shall evaluate the following three ADA requirements:
    1. Vertical Displacement (uplift) - Need not to exceed ¼ inch.
    2. Sidewalk Cross-slope - Need not to exceed a 2 percent slope.
    3. Horizontal Displacement (cracks and crumbling) - Need not to exceed a ¼ inch gap.

If the condition of the sidewalk fronting proposed outside dining area does NOT meet all above-listed conditions, it will be required to be repaired or removed and replaced to be ADA compliant. However, if the only deficiency is the cross slope of up to 4 percent the sidewalk will not be required to be repaired. The area of the sidewalk assessment shall include all the frontage of the proposed outside dining area plus a 10-foot minimum transition on each end satisfactory to the City Engineer. The 10-foot transition area may be reduced to the minimum practical length determined by the City Engineer in cases where it would cross to a neighboring property.

  1. Other Encroachments:  Other encroachments that are not specifically authorized under the revocable permit, such as heaters, fans, drop down enclosures, signs and valet podiums, shall not be allowed in the dining area.
  2. Appeals to BOE Determination:  Appeals of all BOE determinations shall be heard by the Board and the appropriate fees charged

Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) Location

In additional to items required under  “General Sidewalk Dining”, the following is also required:

  • Written approval from Planning will be required

Hollywood Walk of Fame Location

In additional to items required under  “General Sidewalk Dining”, the following is also required when the site is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

 

ENFORCEMENT


BOE staff are not tasked with inspecting or monitoring compliance with the permit requirements.  BSS is the primary enforcement agency; however, BCA has also been badged to provide additional enforcement. The BSS Investigation and Enforcement Division will be notified to investigate any complaints. Citations may be issued for non-compliance.  Compliance with permit requirements include:

  1. Revocable Permit for Sidewalking DiningA display permit shall be posted in plain view from the outside of the restaurant indicating the approved encroachments permitted in the public right-of-way.
  2. Four-foot clear space between encroachments (tables and chairs) and obstructions, such as power poles, street lights, parking meters and trees is maintained.  ADA compliant passing areas shall be provided at 200 foot intervals.
  3. Maintain the sidewalk in front of the restaurant in a clean and uncluttered manner at all times.
  4. Tables and chairs must be removed during non-business hours.
  5. No encroachments are within the visibility triangle as described in LAMC 62.200.
  6. Umbrellas approved by BOE personnel shall be mounted in a stable base to prevent accidental or wind-blown tipping over.
  7. No smoking is allowed within 10 feet of the sidewalk dining area per LAMC 41.50 A.5.a and .B.2.c
  8. No advertising is allowed in the public right-of-way per LAMC 67.02

PERMIT REVOCATION


The following processes are per the Policy from the Board of Public Works issued on April 3, 2019.

If there is any violation of the conditions of the Sidewalk Dining R-Permit, said permit can be revoked and the permit holder will be required, at no cost to the City, to remove the encroachments and return the public right-of-way to the satisfaction of the City Engineer.  Depending on the restorations made to the public right-of-way, the permit holder may also be required to restore the public right-of-way to current local, state or federal standards through the issuance of an A or B Permit. 

If a permittee or land owner wishes to cancel a Sidewalk Dining R-Permit, they must provide BOE staff a written request to cancel the permit.  The permit holder will be required, at no cost, to remove the encroachments and return the public right-of-way to the satisfaction of the City Engineer.  Depending on the restorations made to the public right-of-way, the permit holder may also be required to restore the public right-of-way to current local, state or federal standards through the issuance of an A or B Permit. 

Once the right-of-way has been restored to the satisfaction of the City Engineer, BOE will issue the permit holder a letter stating the permit is no longer valid.  This revocation letter will be required when the property owner wants to clear from the land title the Waiver of Damage that was recorded with the County of Los Angeles.  The property owner is responsible for clearing the Waiver of Damages, not the tenant.

Fees

There is no fee collected from the permittee for revocation or cancellation of a Sidewalk Dining R-Permit.

 

REVOCABLE PERMIT REQUIREMENTS (RPR) LETTER 


BOE Staff will prepare a RPR letter, which is a list of conditions that must be met prior to issuance of the Revocable Permit for sidewalk dining along with a deadline to meet the listed conditions. The deadline is generally one year from the date of the RPR letter, but may be shorter or longer as determined to be appropriate by the City Engineer. Should the Applicant fail to meet the condition(s) by the specified deadline, the application will expire and the Applicant would need to start a new Revocable Permit and pay the appropriate fee.

Additionally, a new revocable permit application and fee will be required where the Applicant desires to change the scope of work to the extent that it requires an additional investigation and RPR letter. In cases where the scope change is minor compared to the original scope, the City Engineer may charge a Tier 1 Revocable Permit fee for subsequent applications.

A "Sample R Permit Requirements Letter" can be found under R Permits, Checklists and Sample Documents.  In addition, sidewalk dining  has some unique elements of the RPR, all of which are included below.

  • ADA Compliance requirements
  • Sewerage Facilities Charges