The City of Fredericksburg has begun discussing the process for restaurants and other businesses to erect tents and other shelters outdoors this winter to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many restaurant owners report that many of their customers prefer to sit outdoors due to COVID-19. They have hence started to plan for the winter.
The City’s permitting process for this topic can be broken down to two areas: proposals for private property and proposals for the public right of way (sidewalks). In either case, tents over 900 square feet must be permitted and inspected by the Fire Marshal’s Office, which also needs to review any planned heating sources (fuel-fired appliances will not be allowed, but electric plug-in forced air could be considered).
A. Public Property
Businesses proposing to put any sort of furniture on the public right of way should fill out the Sidewalk Cafe License Application, which includes a diagram showing the layout of the sidewalk cafe.
B. Private Property
Businesses are allowed to put up tents on private property without zoning approval for 72 hours or less at a time. Those seeking to keep a tent up — or a carport or other shelter — on private property for up to 180 days should submit a Temporary Use Permit to the City.
For more information, contact the Fredericksburg Community Planning & Building Department at 540-372-1179.