City Temporarily Expands Outdoor Dining at Existing Food Establishments

Emergency order issued to allow food establishments to use their private space for outdoor dining. City also highlights process to use public space for outdoor dining.

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Photo of Outdoor Dining Patio

Due to COVID-19 and Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent actions closing indoor dining at restaurants, the City of Chico has issued Emergency Order 2020-002 temporarily expanding outdoor dining at existing restaurants.

This new order will allow food establishments, including all restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, bars, pubs, brewpubs, and breweries, to apply for a Temporary Use for COVID-19 (Outdoor Dining), allowing them to utilize private common areas such as sidewalks, parking lots, recreation space, and other private space for outdoor dining. These expansion areas must be adjacent to the existing business and may not exceed 100% of normal capacity.  The City will require businesses to indemnify the City and to name the City as an insured party to protect the City from liability caused by this significant expansion of land use.

Any structures, paths of travel, and safety features must comply with applicable Federal, State, and/or local codes and are subject to approval and inspection by the City. If an existing restaurant sells or serves alcohol in the expansion area, it must obtain all required Alcoholic Beverage Control approval.


Apply for Temporary Use – Outdoor Dining

To apply for Temporary Use to use a business’ private space, complete the Temporary Use Application. You may submit to the Planning Division via email to or by appointment at City Hall, 2nd Floor, 411 Main Street, Chico, CA 95928. To schedule an appointment, or for more information, contact the Planning Division at (530) 879-6800

Apply for Use of Adjacent Public Space and Parklets

The City is allowing for temporary expansion into adjacent public spaces such as sidewalks or a parklet with certain conditions.  The City issued Emergency Order 2020-003 authorizing the use of adjacent parking in the roadway, called a parklet.  The ability to do either sidewalks or a parklet requires completion of a Temporary Outdoor Café Permit.  While a nominal fee is associated with this permit, we are working to see if the fee can be refunded for businesses impacted by the State’s July 13, 2020 closure order or subsequent orders.

To apply for a Temporary Outdoor Café Permit, complete the Outdoor Cafe and Service Application and submit to the Public Works – Engineering Department located on the 2nd Floor of City Hall, 411 Main Street, Chico, CA 95928 by appointment. To schedule an appointment, or for more information, you may contact Public Works at (530) 879-6900.

For more general information about the program, you can call our City Manager’s Economic Development Division at (530) 869-7299 or email at

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