Guide to Outdoor Dining Permits (Healthy Businesses, Street Seats, Sidewalk Café)

Guide
People using street seating part of outdoor dining
Guide for Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) outdoor dining permits. Businesses are required to have an outdoor dining permit to have food or beverage service in the public right-of-way. Permits will be under the new Outdoor Dining program, previously called “Healthy Businesses”.
On this page

Overview of Outdoor Dining permit 

There are four types of outdoor seating permits available: 

Sidewalk Café 

The Sidewalk Café Permit allows permit holder to place furnishings within the sidewalk area adjacent to a business. 

Diagram of a sidewalk cafe

Seasonal Street Seat 

The Seasonal Street Seat Permit allows the permit holder to place furnishings in parking spaces. This permit does not require a platform, and furnishings must be fully removed when not in season. Season dates are May 1 through October 31. 

Diagram of a seasonal street seat

Street Seats with Platform and Street Seat with Platform and Roof

These year-round permits allow the permit holder to place furnishings and, in some cases, temporary structures in parking spaces. 

Diagram of a street seat with platform and no roof
Street seat with platform
Diagram of a street seat with platform and roof
Street seat with platform and roof

Current requirements for Outdoor Dining permits  

PBOT developed design guidelines for outdoor dining permits based on engagement with the local business community and other stakeholders. These guidelines will ensure that outdoor dining spaces in the street or sidewalk have access for people with disabilities, emergency response vehicles, public transit, and loading zones. The guidelines also address street safety hazards. The guidelines will help permit holders understand what will ultimately be required under PBOT's new permanent Outdoor Dining Program.  

Outdoor Dining Design Guidelines

Be sure to visit our other pages about PBOT's insurance requirements and standards, basic traffic control devices, and a partial list of vendors here:  

PBOT’s insurance requirements and standards 

Basic traffic control devices and vendors 

In addition to the design guidelines, the fee structure has been updated and now offers a seasonal option in addition to the existing annual options. The new fee structure will help expand access to the program for smaller operators. To help businesses adjust to the new changes PBOT will be utilizing The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to partially subsidize the cost of permits for 2024.

EXCEPTION PROCESS

For applicants whose installations do not meet the design guidelines, an exception process is available.

To learn more please visit the exception page here. 


Here's what businesses should know before applying

  • Access for pedestrians and people with disabilities must be maintained at all times. A minimum  6-foot pedestrian path is required throughout the sidewalk at all times and no obstructions may be placed in this zone at any time. 
  • PBOT encourages businesses to coordinate with neighboring businesses and organizations first before applying. 
  • Area business districts and associations may be able to help provide insurance, traffic control devices, or other requirements of the Outdoor Dining permit.    
  • Items and equipment (including traffic control devices) cannot be attached or adhered to the sidewalk, streets, curb, utility pole, or other City infrastructure. Permit holders cannot alter any infrastructure in the right-of-way. 
  • Permit holders are responsible for maintaining the area around their installation. If a parking space is used, permit holders must clean debris from the area under and around as needed 
  • Businesses must ensure that there is always access for people to line up and use transit stops. 
  • Businesses may request relocation of some city infrastructure (such as bike racks, Biketown stations, non-regulatory signs, etc.). PBOT may grant relocation on a case-by-case basis at the expense of the permit holder. 
  • All streets will require some combination of traffic control equipment to separate people and vehicles. Parking lanes are typically 8 feet wide; 7 feet may be used for the installation with the remaining foot to be used for traffic control devices only  (cones, candle stick delineators, wave delineators).   


Fee schedule

Application and permit fees for the 2024 cycle: 

Application typePermit Fees

Sidewalk Café

12 months

Application Fee: $450*

Permit Fee: $350*

Permit Area: $9 per linear foot

Seasonal Street Seats

May-October

Application Fee: $450*

Permit Fee: $350*

Permit Area: $400 per parking space

Street Seats with Platform Annual

12 months

Application Fee: $450*

Permit Fee: $350*

Permit Area: $750 per parking space

Street Seats with Platform and Roof Annual

12 months

Application Fee: $750*

Permit Fee: $350*

Permit Area: $1000 per parking space

Insurance Review Fee - $48.06*

Permit Change Fee - $150*

Site Reinspection Fee - $150*

*Denotes fees that may be subsidized with ARPA funds


How to apply for an Outdoor Dining permit (2024 permits)

To apply for a permit for 2024 please visit the application page. 

Apply for a Outdoor Dining permit 


Outdoor Dining Small Business Assistance Program  

To help small business owners adjust to new Outdoor Dining guidelines and support compliance, PBOT has created a financial assistance program to distribute funding to eligible businesses. 

These payments are intended for year-round street seat installations, including upgrades to current installations, new installations, furniture, lighting, heating, and traffic control devices (cones, planters, barricades).  

To learn more please visit the Outdoor Dining Small Business Assistance Program page.

Outdoor Dining Small Business Assistance 


Sign up for email updates

Stay up to date on the latest news and information about the Outdoor Dining program.

Click here to sign up for email updates


Contact

PBOT Outdoor Dining team

phone number503-823-4026Contact with questions about your Street Seats or Sidewalk Cafe permits applications opening Oct. 16, 2023 and valid starting Jan. 1, 2024.