Public Safety and Accessibility are Our Priorities
The City is committed to working with business owners to find safe and accessible options and alternatives for their temporary outdoor patio and retail space. Public safety is our mutual priority.
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Updates to the Temporary Outdoor Patio and Retail Space program became effective April 1, 2021. This page contains the most up-to-date information.
Updated June 10, 2021
Effective June 10, 2021, provincial COVID-19 health restrictions will allow indoor and outdoor dining with a maximum of 6 people per table. The temporary patio program will continue to receive applications through the season.
If you have any questions regarding the status of your temporary patio location or application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to Zoning Bylaw 12800 were approved by City Council and came into effect on January 1, 2021. These changes make permanent the land use elements of the temporary guidelines for patios and retail spaces operating on private property.
This means that businesses will be able to operate patios and outdoor retail spaces on private property without the requirement of a development permit, provided space complies with the criteria found in.
For many patios, a development permit or building permit is not required, but there are some exceptions. Please read on to make sure your patio meets the rules.
You can avoid the need for either a development permit or building permit by developing a simple and low impact patio.
If you want to build something more substantial or permanent you will need to understand some specific rules and be prepared to possibly apply for both a development permit and a building permit. More details on exactly what is and is not allowed can be found by reviewing the information below. If you need help understanding or interpreting these regulations please contact us at email@example.com.
Remember, patio plans that result in an increase to the current permissible occupant load for the business may require review for a building permit. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org before building out the new space.
A development permit is not required and no further authorization is needed for the operation of a patio on private property if the following criteria are met:
A development permit is not required and no further development (zoning) authorization is needed for the operation of an outdoor retail space on private property if the following criteria are met:
Remember, outdoor retail spaces that result in an increase to the current permissible occupant load for the business may require review for a building permit. Contact email@example.com before building out the new space.
Generally, a single structure located on private property not exceeding 10 square metres (107 square feet) does not require a development permit or building permit, provided it:
If a proposed patio or outdoor retail space does not comply with these criteria, all required permits must be obtained before installing any structure or operating the space.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions related to operating a patio or outdoor retail space on private property, including proposed structures.
All heaters must be ULC- or CSA-certified. Solid-, gel- or liquid-fuel fire features are not permitted. That means you can't burn wood on your patio.
Outdoor patio heaters may be electric or propane (with maximum 20lb tank), located at least 3 metres (10 feet) away from City tree branches, operated per the manufacturer’s directions and stored off the road right-of-way when not in use.
All heaters intended for use inside a tent or shelter require City approval and may require additional permit(s).
The number 1 rule with patios when it comes to noise is this: “Be a good neighbour!"
If you want to know more, about how all patios and outdoor retail spaces that are located on private property must comply with the Community Standards Bylaw 14600, see Sections 14, and 19-22.
If you are proposing a temporary patio or outdoor retail space on public property (for example, sidewalk) or if your temporary patio or outdoor retail space may be on both private and public property, you have 3 options:
You plan to set out tables and chairs only or a simple outdoor retail space, and you are able to maintain a 2 metre pedestrian space on the sidewalk. By choosing this option, you are permitted to set out your outdoor patio or retail space until November 1, 2021.
Please fill out this form to register. You will need to:
There is no approval process under this option. By signing and submitting the declaration, you have accepted the responsibility of following either the Guidelines for Temporary Patios Located on Public Property or the Guidelines for Temporary Outdoor Retail Space Located on Public Property. You are welcome to set up your temporary patio or retail space after completing the form and submitting the signed declaration.
If you need to extend your temporary outdoor patio into the roadway in order to maintain a 2 metre pedestrian space or if you have small additional structures planned for the area (such as an attached fence), you are required to enter into a Standard Licence of Occupation with the City. Please note, terms of the Standard Licence of Occupation is not subject to any modification. The Standard Licence of Occupation is provided for your reference and a list of requirements for this option.
The Standard Licence of Occupation allows for a temporary outdoor patio until November 1, 2021, with the option of continuing through the winter season between November 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.
If you are planning to expand your temporary outdoor patio or retail space into the roadway in order to maintain a 2 metre pedestrian space, if you are looking to include additional structures in a temporary outdoor patio or retail space, or if your proposal does not otherwise meet the requirements of the above 2 options, we will be working with you on a case-by-case basis. Please note, in this case, you will likely require other permits (at a cost) and it may take approximately 12 weeks to receive full approvals.
A noise mitigation plan is required when a patio is located on public property and proposes to use audio-visual equipment.
The temporary patio program is based on mutual trust, respect, and accountability between businesses, the City, and the general public. We are asking businesses who will be using audio-visual equipment (such as, TVs, speakers) in their temporary patio spaces to provide a noise mitigation plan. This will explain exactly how they will be keeping noise to a minimum and being a good neighbour.
A noise mitigation plan must answer the following questions:
How will sound be managed at the location? Who will be responsible for noise levels? For example: security staff or a manager on site will conduct periodic walkthroughs of the patio to assess noise levels, and if necessary, remind patrons to keep noise to a minimum.
How late into the evening will it remain open? How many speakers are present, and where are they located?
Consider your patio hours of operation and how the noise levels will comply with the Community Standards Bylaw 14600, specifically Sections 14, and 19-22. Are patio hours different from the venue (does the patio close at 10pm and can patrons move indoors?)
How are you ensuring that your speakers will not interfere with neighbours or traffic? For example, set TV volume to a consistent level, and keep in mind that the volume should be turned down in the evening after 10pm. Speakers and TVs should face inwards, and away from the adjacent roadway.
How will noise be managed outside the venue and who is responsible to ensure that noise from the venue does not disrupt surrounding properties?
For instance, It is a good idea to touch base with neighbours to let them know what will be occurring and if there are concerns to chat with the managers.
For those businesses that already have a boardwalk sidewalk, we will coordinate with these businesses to allow them to continue to operate their patio. This may mean requiring business owners to address the traction of the boardwalks in all weather conditions by installing slip resistant materials in addition to requirements to address snow clearing.
Due to timing and resources, we will not be able to permit new boardwalk sidewalk construction. However we are committed to working with businesses for alternative solutions.
ULC- or CSA-certified electric or propane patio heaters (with max 20lb tank) are permitted where located at least 3m (10ft) away from City tree branches, operated per the manufacturer’s directions and not stored on the road right-of-way when not in use. Solid-, gel- or liquid-fuel fire features are not permitted.
In order to qualify for the streamlined approval process, you will need to follow these guidelines if you choose to set up a patio or outdoor retail space.
Please refer to Alberta Health Services guidelines for direction on the permission of pets.
Fencing is not required. However, temporary traffic control in the form of pylons, signs and barricades may be supplied by the City of Edmonton or private contractors.
At this point all new temporary patios will not be approved for live music outside and must follow the Community Standards Bylaw for noise restrictions.
At this point, we are not offering refunds for previously paid fees.
The business owner is responsible for obtaining all relevant permissions, including but not limited to AGLC, AHS, and their Landlord.
There is no approval process for a temporary outdoor patio or retail space. By signing and submitting the declaration, you have accepted the responsibility of following the Guidelines for Temporary Patios Located on Public Property or the Guidelines for Temporary Outdoor Retail Space Located on Public Property.
We will work individually with businesses on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure appropriate permits and licences are in place. Licences will need to be signed by both the business and the City prior to the opening of the temporary patio or outdoor retail space.
In order to address the safety and accessibility of the temporary spaces, the City may provide temporary traffic control measures that may include pylons, barricades and signs.
At this time, there is no fee for the City to provide any temporary traffic control devices to address the safety and accessibility of the temporary outdoor patio or retail spaces in 2021.
At this time, there is no cost to receive temporary traffic control support from the City.
All patio owners are expected to keep the area clear of snow and debris at all times.