Temporary Outdoor Seating on Private Property

To help businesses achieve the required physical distancing, restaurants will be able to expand the outdoor dining area on their private property. This can be done using an Temporary Use Permit. Outdoor dining areas are subject to several regulations, including but not limited to:

Flexible Options

Temporary Use permit will allow for flexible expansion options for up to 89-days

Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor cooking is not permitted, unless:

  • There are no residential uses located within two hundred (200) feet of the property and administrative approval is granted; or
  • Special Land Use approval is granted by the Planning Commission.

Clear Vision Requirements

Clear vision corner requirements are met.

Operating Hours

Operating hours shall be no later than 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, unless Special Land Use approval is granted by Planning Commission.

Noise Requirements

No amplified outdoor music, sound, or noise shall be permitted unless Special Land Use approval is granted by Planning Commission.

Alcohol Requirements

If alcohol service is provided, operations are subject to the requirements of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.


Please contact the Planning Department (see contact information to the right) with questions or for additional information.

Application Details

Applications for a Temporary Use Permit take about 30 minutes to complete once required information is gathered, and can be submitted online. You’ll want to submit your Permit Application about 10 days before you intend to open the outdoor seating area.

What Is Needed for a Temporary Use Permit

When you have gathered all application materials and are ready to apply, you can apply online.

Apply Online

A Citizen Access Account

We use a third-party application called Citizen Access for our Temporary Use Permit applications. If you've never used Citizen Access, we recommend that you review how to create an account before starting your application.

A Site Plan

You'll need to upload a PDF of your site plan with your application.

The plan needs to be to scale and include:

  • lot lines and dimensions
  • streets and sidewalks
  • driveways and parking lots
  • existing buildings
  • tents, canopies, stages and seating/gathering areas
  • temporary structures
  • vending areas
  • alcohol consumption areas*
  • entrances/exits
  • layout of outdoor dining area, including anticipated number of seats/occupancy
  • hours of operation
  • any other relevant information

*If your restaurant has previously been approved to serve alcohol to outdoor seating areas, the City’s approval will hold for the expanded seating area for the term of the permit. Applicants are required to separately seek approval from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for expanded alcohol service.

The Property Owner’s Permission

If you’re not the property owner, get their permission to complete this application. You can submit a permission letter signed by the owner with this application.

A Sign Plan

Draw any temporary signs, including dimensions.

Documentation if you’ll be using Tents

Get flame resistance certificate(s) from the tent rental agency or manufacturer. If the tent you want to use is over 400 square feet, you’ll also need a building permit.