Santa Monica Temporary Outdoor Use Permit Program

Program Information

* UPDATE * The portal to apply for a Temporary Outdoor Use Permit closed on August 5, 2022. All existing permit holders can continue to operate their parklet or sidewalk dining under the temporary program until it expires on September 30, 2022. The new application portal and parklet guidance will be available no later than August 22, 2022. 

To apply for a parklet or to transition an existing parklet to the new parklet program, visit santamonica.gov/programs/parklets(New permit portal will be "live" week of 8/22/22)

To apply for a long-term Sidewalk Dining license agreement , click here.

Santa Monica businesses may apply to temporarily use public right-of-way including sidewalks, on-street parking spaces where appropriate, portions of the Pier and Third Street Promenade, and private outdoor space for business activity. Per the City of Santa Monica’s Emergency Ordinance No. 2673 (CCS) and Interim Zoning Ordinance No. 2674 (CCS) and their accompanying regulations, the temporary program is available through September 30, 2022.

Businesses interested in repurposing space in the public right of way should review the Temporary Use of Public Right-of-Way Regulations.  Businesses interested in repurposing private space should review the Temporary Use of Private Outdoor Space Regulations for more information.


How Do I Apply for the Outdoor Use Permit Program?

For use of Public Areas in the Right-of-Way (eg sidewalks, parking lane)

Businesses must be currently licensed to operate in Santa Monica with a valid Santa Monica business license. To get started, you need to complete the following in the online application:

  1. Complete and sign the application form.
  2. Gather your proof of insurance. You will have 14 days after start of use to add the City of Santa Monica as an additional insured and grant the City a waiver of subrogation. Send the Santa Monica Outdoors Pilot Program Agreement to your insurance professional to expedite this process.
  3. Read and implement all social distancing and infection control requirements  as described in the County's Protocols for Re-Opening, as well as all of the Conditions in the Regulations. Please also see the Santa Monica Cares Business Re-Opening Toolkit.  Note that the COVID-19 health protocols must be implemented throughout all areas of your business operations (inside and outside).
  4. Completion of the Activity Checklist for Temporary Use of Public Spaces.
  5. If using sidewalk or parking space in front of neighboring  property , provide consent from Tenant or Owner.  

Santa Monica Outdoors Pilot App 

Use of Private Outdoor Space

Businesses must be currently licensed to operate in Santa Monica with a valid Santa Monica business license. To get started, you need to complete the following in the online application, including self-certification checklist.

Private Outdoor Space App


Alcohol Beverage Service

Alcohol beverages may be served only by restaurants that:

  1. Currently have a license to sell alcoholic beverages from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”);
  2. Have an existing City permit (Conditional Use Permit or Alcohol Exemption) or are operating as an existing legal non-conforming alcohol outlet without a Conditional Use Permit.

If the restaurant seeks to serve alcohol in the expanded public or private space, the restaurant must submit a COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization Form and diagram to and obtain approval from the ABC.  More at https://www.abc.ca.gov/law-and-policy/coronavirus19/.


Program Options: What Type of Expansion is Best for Me? 

Sidewalk Expansion

Sidewalk expansions are outdoor areas on the sidewalk, directly adjacent to the business, that are enclosed and allow for additional display and/or seating.

* Diagrammatic Only

Sidewalk Expansion Regulations

Sidewalk expansions must maintain  5 ’ of continuous unobstructed pedestrian access.

Apply Here

Main Street Parking Lane

Businesses on Main Street can take advantage of the closure of a parking lane, without the need to apply for a Parklet, and can expand up to 13’ out into the roadbed but must maintain a 54" accessible path of travel.

* Diagrammatic Only

Main Street Parking Lane Regulations

Main Street Parking Lane expansions must be ADA compliant:  

  • ADA compliant ramp down to the parking lane, with a 54” path of travel on the street side edge of the enclosure.  

Main Street Parking Lane expansions must occupy the area directly in front of the proposed business, and may elect to expand to be in front of the adjacent storefront, with property owner or tenant permission.   

Apply Here

Parklet Within Existing Parking

Parklets are enclosed outdoor areas within an existing on-street parking or loading space. Parklets may expand into adjacent parking spaces, with neighboring property owner or tenant consent if the parking or loading space is substantially in front of the neighboring property  If the neighboring property has not provided consent, the business applying to use the parklet space must provide notice to the neighboring property using this form.  See the Tactical Parklet Manual for step-by-step guidance on planning, permitting, and setting up a parklet. 

Parklet ADA Requirements

Parklets must meet ADA requirements. One way to meet ADA requirements is to also apply for a sidewalk expansion, so that you are providing the same service on the sidewalk area without requiring a ramp down to the parklet.

* Diagrammatic Only

Another option is to provide an ADA ramp down to the street, but this requires at least two parking spaces to allow sufficient space for the ramp. 

* Diagrammatic Only

Parklet Regulations

Parklets must meet all design and safety specifications, and must be located on streets with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less and speed limit of 30 MPH or less, if there is a bike lane. See the diagrams below for specific design regulations (click to enlarge).

See the map below to identify speed limits and bike facilities that impact temporary parklet design criteria.  (Reminder – parklets are allowed on streets of 25MPH with or without bike lanes; parklets are allowed on streets of 30MPH only when a bike lane is present.)

Santa Monica Pier Deck

Businesses on the Santa Monica Pier may expand their outdoor areas to the pier deck directly in front of and adjacent to the business. Contact Elana Buegoff (Elana.Buegoff@smgov.net )  for more information on what is required for approval.   

Third Street Promenade

Businesses on the Third Street Promenade may expand their outdoor areas into the sidewalk for all business activity. An expansion into the Promenade roadway is limited to dining only.   Please make sure to contact Martin Ronzio-Garcia (martin@downtownsm.com) at DTSM prior to submitting your Promenade application.

Private Outdoor Space

Businesses may expand into privately owned outdoor space, such as parking lots, courtyards, plazas, or other privately owned spaces with the consent of the property owner or tenant. Applicants must obtain a temporary use of private outdoor space permit for use of private outdoor space. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What happens after September 30, 2022 if I would like to retain (or create) a parklet or sidewalk dining area?

The Santa Monica Outdoors Temporary Use Permit program expires on September 30, 2022.  If you are currently operating a sidewalk dining area, you will be required to obtain a valid Sidewalk Dining Permit and License Agreement by September 15, 2022 which will go into effect on October 1, 2022.  For more info:  www.santamonica.gov/process-explainers/how-apply-for-a-sidewalk-dining-license.  If you are operating a parklet area, including K-Rails on Main St, you will be required to obtain a Parklet Permit and License Agreement by September 15, 2022 which will go into effect on October 1, 2022.  Monthly license fees for both the sidewalk dining and parklets will apply.  For more info: https://www.santamonica.gov/programs/parklets.  Businesses without a license agreement will be required to remove all furniture from the sidewalk/roadway by September 30, 2022 to avoid any fines or penalties.

Q: What are the Do's and Don'ts of Temporary Use of Public Space?

(Updated September 23, 2021)

Q: What are common application mistakes?

Some early applicants forgot to return proof of insurance listing the City of Santa Monica as an additional insured within the 14 day period after the requested start date. You will need to work with your insurer or agent to obtain this form; it's a routine request and should not take that long. Contact us at econdev@smgov.net if you are running into issues.

Q: Can I operate a temporary outdoor dining area?

Restaurants currently licensed to operate with a Santa Monica Business License can set up temporary outdoor dining on public sidewalks or adjacent to your business after entering into the temporary encroachment agreement with the City. 

The temporary outdoor encroachment agreement is only needed for restaurants utilizing public space like the sidewalk. Consent from the owner or tenant is needed to either expand to the sidewalk in front of a neighboring business or to use private outdoor space, and businesses should be prepared to furnish copies of the consent on request.

Q. How do I launch a parklet in front of my business?

Businesses will be able to apply for a parklet under the new permanent program beginning August 22, 2022. Visit santamonica.gov/programs/parklets for updates.