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The City of Newark is looking to assist local restaurants during these difficult times under the current COVID-19 pandemic. To assist in these efforts, the City will allow local restaurants to temporarily create or expand outdoor dining areas in areas such as patios and walkways, in parking areas, and in the public right of way consistent with the current Alameda County Shelter-in-Place Order dated June 18, 2020 and the guidelines provided below. This allowance for temporary outdoor seating will remain in effect until the County Health Officer lifts or modifies the Shelter-in-Place Order, or as directed by the Newark City Council.

General Guidelines

Restaurant owners and operators shall read and comply with the current Emergency Orders issued by the State of California and the Alameda County Department of Public Health.
For guidance specific to restaurants, see:

The following guidelines are provided to encourage outdoor dining in patios, walkways, and similar areas at existing restaurant spaces. There are no permits required for outdoor dining areas on private property under 500 square feet in area or for permanently constructed patios of any size in place as of June 19, 2020. If a restaurant plans to use a private parking area or a public sidewalk, plaza, or on-street parking space, a permit is required. Specific instructions are listed in the next section (Dining Parklets and Public Spaces).

a) Outdoor seating arrangements shall limit the number of patrons at a single table to no more than six (6) individuals, all of whom must be from the same household, living unit, or “Social Bubble” as defined in the most recent Alameda County Department of Public Health Officer Order.

b) Outdoor seating arrangements shall maintain a minimum six-foot (6’-0”) social distance between all members of separate households, living units, or Social Bubble. For clarity, patrons who are members of the same household, living unit, or Social Bubble and are seated together at a table do not need to be six feet apart. Patrons from different households, living units, or Social Bubbles may not be seated at the same table.

 c) Outdoor dining areas shall comply with ADA access requirements. A minimum four-foot (4'-0") wide path of travel shall be maintained along all pedestrian walkways from the parking lot and/or public right-of-way to all public building entrances.

 d) The restaurant operator shall obtain authorization from the property owner or authorized representative for the use of private sidewalks or other areas for outdoor dining. In general, outdoor dining areas may be located on sidewalks or patio areas immediately adjacent to the front of the restaurant. Written authorization from the property owner or authorized representative shall be provided to the City as part of a COVID-19 minor use permit, described below)

 e) Tenants in shopping centers with multiple restaurants shall work with management and other tenants to equitably allocate the available sidewalks and patios for temporary outdoor dining.

 f) Tables, chairs, umbrellas, or other temporary objects shall be located in a manner that does not obstruct the entrance to any building or fire safety equipment, impede the flow of pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or create a hazardous condition (such as a tripping hazard).

 g) It is recommended that outdoor furniture be of high-quality materials.

 h) No furniture, fixture, or equipment shall be permanently affixed in the dining area.

 i) Outdoor storage or preparation of food or beverages is not permitted.

 j) Operating hours for outdoor dining areas shall be consistent the indoor operating hours.

 k) Removable barriers, such as stanchions, retractable belts, plants, or screens no more than three feet (3’-0”) in height, may be used to delineate outdoor dining areas from the pedestrian path of travel.

 l) Alcohol may be sold to patrons in conjunction with a meal but may not be sold independently.

 m) Bar areas shall remain closed to customers. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has additional information at:  ABC 218 CV19 Instructions

 n) The use of tents, temporary shelters, or coverings for outdoor dining shall require review and approval by the Newark Fire Prevention Division in accordance with current regulations and fees. Tents (no walls) with an area less than 700 sq.ft., do not require a permit.

 o) Heating or cooling devices installed or placed in outdoor dining areas are subject to Fire and Building codes.

 p) Restaurant operators shall maintain the cleanliness and appearance of all outdoor dining areas.

 q) Access to indoor restroom must be provided; portable toilets are not permitted.

 r) Each restaurant may post one sign with a maximum area of four (4) square feet in the outdoor dining area. An A-frame sign is recommended with the restaurant’s name, logo or menu.

 s) Avoid long runs of extension cords, especially across walkways and sidewalks.

 t) Installation of additional bicycle parking is recommended to encourage patrons to visit the restaurant by bike.

 u) Restaurant owners are encouraged to create unique and inviting spaces that reflect the quality of the establishment.

Dining Parklets and Public Spaces

Application and Registration (no fee required)

Parking areas immediately adjacent to the restaurant may be considered for temporary use as outdoor “Dining Parklets”.

A COVID-19 minor use permit issued by the City of Newark Planning Division is required prior to setting up tables and chairs in Dining Parklets. The application submittal requirements and process are provided in Newark Outdoor Dining Registration Form. In addition to the General Guidelines outlined above, a complete application which meets the following requirements and additional guidelines shall be submitted for City review:

1) Safety barriers such as temporary walls, rails, or landscape planters shall be installed to protect outdoor seating areas from vehicles. Need ideas? To see images, type "dining parklets" in your internet search engine or see Example Dining Parklet attached.

 2) Dining areas may not extend beyond the length of the parking stall, defined by the parking stall striping, or in the case of unmarked parallel parking in the public right-of-way, eight feet (8’) from the adjacent curb. See Diagram A. The Community Development Director may adjust this at the request of the applicant, based upon an existing, unique parking stall configuration that results in little or no automobile traffic movements and would not negatively impact safety

 3) Dining areas may not be located “outboard” of a restaurant in areas where a drive isle is located between the restaurant and the parking area. Dining Parklets would be allowed in single-loaded parking areas not separated by a drive aisle. See Diagram A. The Community Development Director may adjust this at the request of the applicant, based upon an existing unique parking stall configuration that results in little or no automobile traffic movements and would not negatively impact safety

 4) Dining areas may not occupy or limit access to ADA accessible parking spaces and loading areas

Dining Parklets in the Public Space

If a publicly owned space is being considered for a Dining Parklet, such as a public sidewalk, plaza, or on-street parking space, please discuss your proposal with the Community Development to see if there are any concerns or issues. Outdoor dining in these areas requires a COVID-19 minor use permit as described above.

In general, the use of a public space shall consider the following standards:

A. A public space Dining Parklet shall be designed to delineate a clear boundary to accommodate a pedestrian path of travel, and

a. Shall not be located within ten feet of a driveway or twenty feet of a street corner.

 b. For an on-street Dining Parklet proposed in parallel on-street parking spaces, the parklet may occupy up to two spaces. If located in diagonal or perpendicular parking spaces, the partlet may occupy up to three spaces.

 c. On-street dining areas shall be defined by concrete or fillable plastic K-rail, heavy planter boxes, or similar devices that act as barriers sufficient to deter vehicle entry into the area. The barrier shall be supplemented with soft hit posts, wheel stops, or other reflective elements if adjacent to a public street.

 d. The barrier associated with the on-street should be set back at least four feet from adjacent parallel parking spaces and one foot away from adjacent diagonal or perpendicular parking spaces.

 B. Dining Parklets in the public space shall conform to the performance standards and design recommendations for all patios.

C. All Dining Parklets in the public space require issuance of an Encroachment Permit and proof of insurance naming the City of Newark as additionally insured. Application for an encroachment permit shall be made through the Public Works Department.

Questions? – Please call 510-578-4330 or email