COVID-19 Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Permit

We know how important it is for you to reopen your business. If your business is open, you must follow best practices to keep your customers and employees safe. You are required to post a Site-Specific Protection Plan and adhere to the industry-specific requirements outlined in the Marin County public health orders. 

If you are a retailer or restaurant and want to use the outdoor public space in front of your business or other public space, fill out the application form below to request a temporary encroachment permit that will allow you to use the applicable public space for outdoor dining or displaying retail merchandise. There is no fee for the permit.

Any permit issued will be valid for a maximum of 120 days from the date of issuance. Prior to the expiration of your permit, we will communicate to you any changes and/or extend the time frame based on County health guidelines.  Permits may be renewed for one 60-day period, at the Town Manager’s discretion. You will not need to reapply to be eligible for a permit renewal.  All permits expire May 8, 2022. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a pilot program and is subject to change or termination at any time in the discretion of the  Town of Fairfax.  Individual encroachment permits may also be revoked by the Town if the Town determines the applicant is in violation of the permit requirements or the use of the public right-of-way is causing a public safety concern. The conditional temporary encroachment permit authorized by this pilot program is subject to all provisions of Resolution No. 20-19, approved by the Town Council on June 3, 2020.

Below are the standards you must follow to use the public spaces. Please note the Use of Outdoor Private Property is a separate process and requires a Temporary Use Permit. Please contact Linda Neal at 415-453-1584 or for details.  

Common standards for Outdoor Dining and Retail (See specific standards listed in below)

  • For use of the sidewalk, a minimum, unobstructed width of four (4) feet must be permanently maintained for public pedestrian passage. Furnishings and merchandise shall not be placed in a manner that obstructs access to this pedestrian passage.
  • No items shall block visibility for required street signs, crosswalks, and intersections.
  • Movable racks and furniture must be adequately secured, so that they do not roll or are easily tipped over.
  • The area shall be maintained in a sanitary condition free from litter, infestation from pests and the storm drain must be kept clear.
  • All building exits and exit pathways must be kept clear.
  • Access to building fire protection equipment (PIV, FDC, Riser) and sidewalk fire hydrants must be kept clear.
  • All electrical outside must utilize heavy duty extension cords plugged into GFCI receptacles. Cords cannot be in an area subject to damage or creating a trip hazard. Cords cannot be hung overhead by themselves unless supported by other means (e.g. attached to a cable). Any change in elevation to facilitate electrical on the ground must meet ADA standards.
  • No stacking of furnishings in outdoor areas.
  • A fire extinguisher inside the building must be quickly accessible.
  • Open flame (such as candles) is not permitted.
  • Businesses are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the public spaces they use.
  • Businesses constructing platforms in the public right of way (e.g., on-street parking space) shall contact the adjacent business owners to inform them of their request and take measures to address their concerns, if applicable and reasonable. The platforms cannot exceed the business store frontage without approval from the adjacent business owner/manager.  Businesses must document to the Town that contact was made. Any roof structures must meet the design guidelines provided by the Town.
  • No roof coverings may be added beginning May 6, 2021.


Specific Standards: In addition to the common standards listed above, the following standards apply to a Use of Public Sidewalks:

  • Dining and retail activity and merchandise display area must be limited to the street frontage width of the business, unless an adjacent business allows the use of their public space.

Applications are automatically approved with the submittal of all requested documentation and compliance with the above common and specific standards.

Description: Public parking spaces are all parking on public streets, such as Bolinas Rd.. At this time we are not allowing the use of parking spaces within public Town parking lot for private use.

Specific Standards: In addition to the common standards listed above, the following standards apply to a Use of Public Parking Spaces

  • Restaurants must maintain at least one sidewalk seating, or one of the seatings in the parking space for ADA access. Parking space ADA seatings must include the installation of a temporary ramp from the curb to the parking space.
  • Retail must offer associate assistance to ADA customers for any retail on display in the parking space.
  • Traffic control (traffic cones, posts) must be at least 28″ tall, meet MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) standards and placed at the edges of the parking space. Traffic control must include reflection if parking space is to be utilized at night. A secondary barrier (traffic cones, planter boxes, posts with rope, etc.) must be placed 2ft in from the external barrier — maintaining a 2ft buffer between customers and vehicle traffic at all times.
  • Patio umbrellas may be used in the parking space. Any tent or canopy used where an enclosure is created should have a State Fire Marshall seal or flame certification. Umbrellas or shade structures may not intrude beyond the inner barrier of the 2ft buffer zone, and they may not interfere with driver or pedestrian visibility of store signage, street signs, or traffic signals.


In their application, businesses may request to utilize any parking spaces fully within their store frontage. Parking spaces partially within a businesses’ storefront can be requested for outdoor dining on a case by case basis. No spaces other than those fully or partially in front of  business will be made available for use under this permit. 

Note: Table and chair placements in the diagram are just a suggestion. Restaurants and retailers have discretion over where to place furnishings and merchandise within the parking spaces and sidewalk so long as they are adhering to County health guidelines.

Application requires staff review prior to approval. .

Use of Ballfield for Outdoor Classes

You may use this form to also apply to use the ballfield for outdoor classes.  All classes are subject to compliance with industry-specific requirements outlined in the Marin County public health orders. Business must list the hours they intend to hold classes.  The use of the ballfield is based on availability. No classes will be allowed in the evenings. Businesses are responsible for cleaning up after their use.

Application requires staff review prior to approval.

Use of Mono Alley

The portion of Mono Alley that intersects with Bolinas Rd. may be used by an adjacent business. Only the portion of Mono Alley that is adjacent to the building may be used.

Specific Standards: In addition to the common standards listed above, the following standards apply to a Use of Mon Alley:

  • Mono (Ave) Alley may only be temporarily closed from 4:00pm to 9:00pm.
  • The business must post signage stating the days and hours of closure
  • The business is responsible for closing and reopening Mono Alley and for removing any furnishings every day of the closure.
  • Dining and retail activity and merchandise display area must be limited to the street frontage width of the business.
  • Additional requirements may apply based upon Town staff review

Application requires staff review prior to approval.

Temporary Encroachment Permit Application Form

(*)indicates a required field

  • Business Address * Required
  • Access & Safety Requirements

  • To meet the criteria for the temporary permit, all of the below requirements must be met. Please check each box to certify that you will adhere to the following requirements:
  • * Required
  • Please upload a photo of the public right-of-way you intend to use.
  • Upload a simple diagram with dimensions showing the layout of the outdoor space, including where furnishings or merchandise will be placed. This can be a hand drawing on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.
  • Upload a certificate of insurance. This temporary minor encroachment permit is conditioned upon the applicant securing, at its expense, a policy of broad form commercial general liability insurance in an amount not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00), specifically endorsed to name the Town of Fairfax as an additional insured. If you do not have the required documentation at this time, you have up to 5 business days to submit insurance documentation. If not attached to this form, submit to
  • If alcohol is sold and served, please upload proof of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) approval. More ABC information:
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