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Outdoor Café Permits/Use of the Public Right-of-Way



The City of Takoma Park regulates the use of public right-of-way for private outdoor dining through the City’s Municipal Code in Chapter 8.16. In order to increase the economic vitality of commercial districts and encourage additional pedestrian activity, City staff can issue Outdoor Cafe Permits to licensed food businesses.

Please note that Outdoor Cafe Permits only apply to regular service on the public right-of-way. The City does not regulate outdoor dining on private property through the Outdoor Cafe Permit process.

How to Apply

Businesses interested in applying for an Outdoor Cafe Permit can complete an application and supporting materials here:

Quick Links
Permit Determination & Process

Upon submission of a completed Outdoor Cafe Permit application, City staff will approve or deny the Permit request within 15 business days. A completed application shall be approved unless a determination is made that issuance of a Permit will create:

  • Substantial disruption of the use of a street or interference with the operation of emergency vehicles or an ongoing municipal function;
  • Restricted or blocked access to the sidewalk or adjoining properties, or creation of a substantial risk of injury to persons or damage to property;
  • Violation of Federal, State, or local law;
  • Unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of adjoining properties, neighboring businesses, or residents.

For further information, please email the Economic Development Team directly at or call 301-891-7119.

Permit Regulations & Fees

Outdoor Cafe Permits are currently regulated through Administrative Regulation 2018-01. Per the regulations, the following fees are charged for an Outdoor Cafe Permit:

Processing FeePermit FeeLease Fee
Initial Application - $145.00Three-Month Permit - $100.00Permitted Area (Less than 162 Sq. Ft.) - $0.00 per Sq. Ft.
Renewal - $90.00Six-Month Permit - $225.00Permitted Area (Equal to or greater than 162 Sq. Ft.) - $0.60 per Sq. Ft.
Twelve-Month Permit - $450.00



Economic Development Sections