Austin City Council has authorized a new program allowing businesses to create a seating or retail area in owned or leased parking lots through the Parking Lot Patio Permit. Applicants interested in repurposing parking spots must apply for a permit through the Development Services Department and be inspected by the Austin Fire Department.
- Tables, chairs, and other furnishings must be temporary.
- The patio cannot include permanent structures or tents.
- The patio cannot encroach on the sidewalk, block accessible spaces, or impede a fire lane or utility infrastructure.
- If alcoholic beverages are served, the patio must be secured by balustrades or planters.
- Amplified sound is only allowed with an Outdoor Music Venue permit administered by the Development Services Department's Entertainment Services Group.
- Patrons must be allowed to use bathroom facilities located inside the business. Portable toilets must be provided if the estimated number of patrons with the patio exceeds the current capacity.
- The Parking Lot Patio Permit is effective for one year and can be renewed annually.
Application and Approval Process
- If you are not the owner of the parking lot, you must also submit with your application written authorization from the fee title owner of the property. This can be in the form of a letter.
- Your schematic design must include the number and placement of tables, chairs, and other furniture. It must also show the patio boundary and other structures, such as the primary business building, parking lot, curbs, etc.
Reviewers in the Entertainment Services Group will ensure your project is eligible and meets all necessary requirements.
Once Development Services approve your application, the Austin Fire Department will perform a plan review to ensure fire lanes are clear and there are no concerns with egress or ingress routes. The Austin Fire Department will also perform a temporary occupancy load adjustment for the new patio area.
If you plan on serving alcohol, it is recommended you complete the process of obtaining a Temporary Modification of Licensed Premises through the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) before beginning modification.
Once you have approval from the City and TABC, if necessary, complete your modifications. Once you are finished, the Austin Fire Department will return to conduct a final inspection to ensure your patio matches your approved plans.
This permit can be renewed annually by resubmitting your application and having the Austin Fire Department perform an annual inspection.
For a list of fees associated with a Parking Lot Patio Permit and other fee-related questions, email Bryan Walker at Bryan.Walker@austintexas.gov or contact the Entertainment Services Group staff at email@example.com or 512-974-2686.