New Program Expands Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining, originally developed as a response to COVID-19, is being expanded through a five-year pilot program. The program began Sept. 1, 2022 and ends on Oct. 31, 2027, unless extended by subsequent Boulder City Council Action.

Program Overview

The Outdoor Dining Pilot Program (pilot program) has been designed in response to the success of temporary outdoor dining expansions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new, five-year pilot program (Sept. 1, 2022 through Oct. 31, 2027) was designed based on feedback and lessons learned from the past two years and provides current, year-round outdoor dining rules for restaurants, brewpubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries, and wineries (collectively referred to in the pilot program as “eligible businesses”).

The first application window for participation in the pilot program closed July 15, 2022, for permits beginning Sept. 1, 2022. Applications will only be accepted during a one-month application window each year after the initial application period. The annual application window for each successive year of the pilot program will be Feb. 1 through March 1, beginning in 2023. If you do not wish to apply now, you may choose to apply in February 2023, during the next application window. Applications are for three-year permits with an annual lease fee, and applicable license and permitting application fees apply (details under “License and Permitting Fees” section).

The pilot program began on Sept. 1, 2022, immediately following the expiration of emergency orders allowing for temporary expansions on Aug. 31, 2022. The City of Boulder initiated a two-phase transition process to bring eligible businesses into compliance with the pilot program. Phase I allowed eligible businesses which elect not to participate in the pilot program to remove infrastructure from the public right of way by Aug. 31, 2022. Phase II allows eligible businesses participating in the pilot program to transition infrastructure through Oct. 31, 2022, in order to accommodate infrastructure purchase lead times.

Additional Information

Additional information on eligibility, vendors, application process, definitions and resources is available in the drop downs below.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS:

Eligible Businesses that have available public right of way or private property within 150 feet of their entrances or directly fronting the building they are located within, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Brewpubs
  • Taverns
  • Breweries
  • Distilleries
  • Wineries

ELIGIBLE LOCATIONS:

  1. Public Right of Way (ROW)
  2. Public Easement
  3. Parking Areas
  4. Private Property - required yards or open space

ELIGIBLE STREETS:

Parklets are permitted on streets within Boulder city limits with speed limits of 30 miles per hour or lower.

PARKLET SIZE:

  • Outdoor dining extensions on public ROW are restricted to 500 square feet (sf) per restaurant.
    • extensions in the public ROW - no more than a total of 1,000 sf permitted for all combined extensions along any typical block face or any full block of the Pearl Street Mall.
  • Outdoor dining extensions on private property are restricted to 500 sf per restaurant.
    • extensions on private property - no cap on the number of Eligible Businesses allowed to expand or the cumulative amount of permitted area for expansion.
  • All Eligible Businesses may be considered for a minimum 100 sf parklet regardless of the total square feet of pre-existing permitted parklets within the associated block.
  • Barrier height restrictions of four feet and prohibition of closed-in structures and roofs are required out of safety, consideration for other businesses, as well as wind and snow load requirements.
  • A minimum of three-foot height barriers between the designated dining area and other areas are required for proper alcohol control. The requirements align with current laws and regulations including clearly defined boundaries for liquor services in outdoor dining spaces.

Program Options and Subsidies

Option

Infrastructure

Annual Program Fees*

Subsidy

Storage and Maintenance

Option A - Public Right of Way

Pilot Program compliant infrastructure purchased individually by Eligible Businesses

Annual Fee On-Mall (Revocable Permit only): $18.76/sq ft

Annual Fee Off-Mall (Revocable Permit only): $13.13/sq ft

Eligible Businesses reimbursed a portion of the infrastructure costs (up to $2,500)

Eligible Businesses are responsible to maintain a clean and safe outdoor dining space. Outdoor dining infrastructure and furniture are not allowed to be stored in the public ROW

Option B - Public Right of Way

Pilot Program compliant infrastructure purchased in bulk by city and permitted to Eligible Businesses for 5 years

Annual Fee On-Mall (Revocable Permit + Infrastructure): $35/sq ft

Annual Fee Off-Mall (Revocable Permit + Infrastructure): $35/sq ft

Eligible Businesses lease reflects up to 50% discount on infrastructure cost

The city is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure with a lease option. The city will also be responsible for moving and storing the infrastructure.

Option C - Private Property

Pilot Program compliant infrastructure purchased individually by Eligible Businesses

None

Eligible Businesses reimbursed a portion of infrastructure costs (up to $2,500

Eligible Businesses are responsible to maintain a clean and safe outdoor dining space. Outdoor dining infrastructure and furniture are not allowed to be stored in the public ROW.

For the purpose of qualifying for an infrastructure subsidy under Option A and Option C, Eligible Businesses will be defined as those that can demonstrate the use of private funds to provide outdoor dining extensions prior to the Pilot Program launch (during the temporary COVID pandemic response program) Eligible Businesses must provide photo evidence of the infrastructure purchased and a cost estimate.

License and Permitting Fees

Revocable Permit Fee

Initial Application Fee: $650
Resubmittal within four weeks of initial submission: $325
Renewal: $113

Annual Fee On-Mall: $18.76/sq ft

Annual Fee Off-Mall: $13.13/sq ft

Outdoor Dining Pilot Program Infrastructure Fee

Annual On-Mall: $16.25/sq ft
Annual Off-Mall: $21.87/sq ft

Liquor License Fee

City Liquor Application: $50
State Liquor Licensing Fee: $300

MODSTREET has been selected through a request for proposals (RFP) process for the city bulk purchase of parklet infrastructure. This infrastructure will be permitted by Eligible Businesses under Option B (see Program Options, Subsidies, and Fees).

Parklets provided by all three vendors listed below have been reviewed for an expedited city permitting process. If a parklet is placed adjacent to traffic lanes, Eligible Businesses electing to purchase independently from Western Precision Manufacturing, LLC or Archatrak must have approved planter boxes between the parklet and traffic. Approved planter boxes may be purchased through MODSTREET or another vendor meeting city standards. Planter box approval from vendors besides MODSTREET, which have been pre-reviewed, may require additional review time. On the application when indicating infrastructure purchase through a different vendor, please indicate how many planter boxes will be needed, and staff will review and contact applicants for possible grants to cover the planter boxes.

MODSTREET
736 Main Avenue, STE A
Durango, CO 81301
Phone: 970-422-8400

Western Precision Manufacturing, LLC
2319 Logos Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81505
Phone: 970-245-0480

Archatrak
1288 N 14th Avenue, Unit 105
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: 406-551-4098

Below are definitions for restaurants, brewpubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries, and wineries (collectively referred to in the Pilot Program as “Eligible Businesses”).

DEFINITIONS: B.R.C. 1981 Title 9.16.1 General Definitions

  • Restaurant - an establishment provided with a food preparation area, dining room equipment, and persons to prepare and serve, in consideration of payment, food, or drinks to guests.
  • Brewpub - an establishment that is primarily a restaurant where malt liquor is manufactured on the premises as an accessory use. A brewpub may include some off-site distribution of its malt liquor consistent with state law.
  • Tavern - an establishment serving malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors in which the principal business is the sale of such beverages at retail for consumption on the premises and where snacks are available for consumption on the premises.
  • Brewery - a use with a manufacturer or wholesaler license issued under § 44-3-401, et seq., C.R.S., and does not include any retail type liquor license under § 44-3-309, et seq., C.R.S., on the lot or parcel, that is primarily a manufacturing facility, where malt liquors are manufactured on the premises, that may include a tap room that is less than or equal to thirty percent of the total floor area of the facility or one thousand square feet, whichever is greater.
  • Distillery - a use with a manufacturer or wholesaler license issued under § 44-3-401, et seq., C.R.S., and does not include any retail type liquor license under § 44-3-309, et seq., C.R.S., on the lot or parcel, that is primarily a manufacturing facility, where spirituous liquors are manufactured, that may include a tasting room that is less than or equal to thirty percent of the total floor area of the facility or one thousand square feet, whichever is greater.
  • Winery - a use with a manufacturer or wholesaler license issued under § 44-3-401, et seq., C.R.S., and does not include any retail type liquor license under § 44-3-309, et seq., C.R.S., on the lot or parcel, that is primarily a manufacturing facility, where vinous liquors are manufactured, that may include a tasting room that is less than or equal to thirty percent of the total floor area of the facility or one thousand square feet, whichever is greater.
  • Parklets - modular barrier and platform structures for assembly in the public right of way including on sidewalks and in on-street parking spaces, as well as on private property.
  • Right of Way (ROW) - areas meeting the definition of public right of way per B.R.C. 1981 Title 1.2.1 Definitions
    • ie: streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, utilities, and other public infrastructure.

Possessory Interest information for Boulder County businesses

Liquor Licensing information for City of Boulder businesses

Sales Tax information for City of Boulder businesses

Revocable Permit and Right of Way Lease Application for a permanent patio lease

Community Vitality | City of Boulder

Boulder Office of Arts and Culture

Application Process

Prepare your Materials

  • Plan and Section Drawings or Survey
  • Certificate of Insurance (COI) (Use of public land)
  • From the Building Owner - proof of ownership or authority
  • From the tenant- proof of authority to bind
  • Landlord Consent/ Neighboring Frontage Consent
  • Gather contact information for the property owner and tenant

Submit the online application form

  • Application is online for the Outdoor Dining Pilot Program
  • You will be prompted to upload your documents to the application in pdf format
  • You will receive an email confirming your application was received

Watch your email for fees and status updates

  • You will receive an email notification once your application is entered, complete and ready for application payment
  • Payments are made online through our Customer Self Service (CSS) portal
  • You will receive status updates for any additional information required

After review, your lease is prepared

  • You will receive communications during the process
  • Once your site review is complete, your lease will be prepared for signature
  • Both the property owner and tenant are required to sign the lease
  • Your initial annual lease payment will be available to pay at this time

Once your lease is complete

  • You will receive notification of the final approval
  • If you are applying for a liquor license modification, you will use this approval to apply
  • You will receive notifications at each annual anniversary for your annual lease payment due
  • Each lease is for three years, then you will be eligible for renewal to continue the program