The Temporary Change of Use to Public Assembly/Operational Permit is required for structures or portions of structures used as public assemblies that do not currently have a “Certificate of Occupancy” for that type of use.

Under Fire Code Definitions, a public assembly consists of 50 people. To obtain this permit, you can submit an online application or contact the Austin Fire Department, Special Events Division via, or in person at 505 Barton Springs Road, Suite 1070. Appointments are recommended for in-person meetings with an AFD Special Events Division team member.

Important: A floor plan/site plan must be submitted with the application in order to be processed. Incomplete applications will be automatically denied.
Permit Requirements include but are not limited to the following:

  • The property must have passed an Austin Fire Department maintenance inspection in the previous twelve months.
  • The property must have a current valid Certificate of Occupancy issued through Planning and Development Review Department.
  • A fire inspection must be passed and a $100 permit fee must be made before a permit will be issued. (Fee statements are issued through the Special Events Division.) The inspection will be performed when the event is set-up and a load card will be issued at that time.
  • All changes to the occupancy must be in place before the fire inspection takes place. Events that are not set-up at the time of the scheduled inspectors meeting will be assessed an after-hours inspection fee that must be paid prior to an event load card/permit being issued.
  • All fire protection systems in the structure must be functioning properly and have a valid inspection tag from a licensed contractor.
  • Beginning January 1, 2014, the occupancy must have a valid Fire Protection Systems Permit that has been issued by the Fire Marshal's Office.
  • Maximum occupant load will be posted on the event load card/permit. If separate loads are given for different areas of the premise, they cannot be combined for use in one of the spaces only.  Venue owners are responsible for managing the crowd and are subject to citations if found to be non-compliant.
  • Exits from the property cannot be locked, blocked, or obstructed by decorative materials and must be maintained during entire event hours.
  • Use of cut plants, shredded paper, plastic sheeting, and similar combustibles inside a structure is prohibited. Plastic sheeting with a flame retardant listing may be used on the exterior only, and documentation of flame resistance must be provided.
  • External use of cut plants is not allowed unless previously approved and chemically treated with a retardant solution by a licensed contractor. (Fire Marshal will test material after application.) A letter from the contractor identifying what was treated must be provided.
  • Any decorative materials used with cut plants on the exterior must also be flame resistant.
  • Decorations must not cover any fire detection or notification devices.
  • Additional fire extinguishers must be provided as needed.
  • If fire watch is required, it must be paid for one week prior to event. Cancelation of fire watch must be received 48 hours prior to the scheduled fire watch time(s).

A Temporary Change of Use Permit is $100. Partial payments will not be accepted and an event will not be approved and permitted if any stipulated fees are not paid one week prior to the event.

Return to the Temporary Change of Use Permit Application