City of Gaithersburg Adopts Simplified Outdoor Seating Permitting to Replace Pre-Covid Requirements
Per the City of Gaithersburg:
Due to the continued popularity of outdoor dining, the City is permanently replacing the pre-COVID requirement for a Site Plan Amendment with a more simplified Outdoor Seating Permit for restaurants wishing to put tables & chairs on sidewalks for outdoor dining. Adding structures, such as overhead coverings for outdoor dining, must continue to go through the Site Plan Amendment process.
Permits are approved at the staff level, and authorization has been delegated by the Planning Commission to allow staff to also review & approve Site Plan Amendments for minor coverings. This allows for a streamlined & expedited process to accommodate the needs of local businesses.
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City instituted a Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit to support restaurants dealing with mandatory reduced capacity limits. Twenty-four temporary permits were issued, and they remained valid until both the State of Maryland & Montgomery County lifted Executive Orders limiting indoor restaurant seating capacity. Businesses wishing to establish or continue outdoor dining are required to apply for a permanent Outdoor Seating Permit. At this time, there is no fee for this permit.