Business Outdoor Programs
Programs and Contact Information
Commercial Parklets for Dining and Retail
Dining or retail displays and sales in on-street parking spaces are allowed on a continual basis in compliance with the Parklet Requirements and with possession of a valid RIght of Way - Parklet Permit issued by the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES).Short-Term Parklets cannot be in place for longer than 6 days and must be operated by a business that is in possession of a Right of Way – Parklet Permit specifically issued for the purpose of Short-Term Parklets, as well as a Temporary Reserved Parking Permit for the dates of operation. Contact Max Devilliers or visit the City's Parklet website for more information on how to apply.
Sidewalk Dining Along the King Street Corridor
Restaurants located within the King Street Outdoor Dining (KSOD) Overlay Zone may apply for sidewalk dining permits via the KSOD program. All KSOD permits must be For more information on renewing a previously approved sidewalk dining configuration or applying for a new or changed sidewalk dining configuration, please contact Patrick Silva for assistance or visit the program’s website.
Sidewalk Dining in all Other Areas of the City
Sidewalk dining in other areas of the City is possible and may require an amendment to your Special Use Permit (SUP). Please contact PZnondevelopment@alexandriava.gov to learn if you will need to amend your SUP.
Outdoor Dining in Privately-Owned Parking Lots
This opportunity may require an amendment to your Special Use Permit. Please contact PZnondevelopment@alexandriava.govto learn if you will need to amend your SUP.
Retail Displays and Sales on Sidewalks
Retail businesses may display and sell merchandise on the sidewalk without a permit as long as they set up only during regular business hours and allow for a minimum five-foot clearance on the sidewalk for pedestrian passage.
A-frame Sign Use
The City is extending the opportunity to use these signs until December 31, 2023. All A-frame signs must not block pedestrian passage on the sidewalk and provide at least a five foot width free for access along the sidewalk.
2020 Business Recovery Program
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, City Council approved a series of ordinances between 2020 and 2021 to make permanent several of the emergency business measures allowed on a temporary basis through regulatory waivers in ordinance number 5313 and extended under 5372. It recognized, in its support of a September 2020 Zoning Text Amendment for Business Practical Updates (ZTA2020-00008), the economic benefits for businesses and the low potential for neighborhood impacts associated with easing certain Special Use Permit restrictions for restaurants, such as allowing off-premises alcohol sales and an unlimited number of delivery vehicles through SUP administrative approval. In response to widespread community and business support for the continuation of outdoor dining and retail in on-street parking spaces and on sidewalks, City Council approved a series of Zoning Ordinance and City Code text amendments in October 2021 to permanently close the 100 block of King Street and allow for the uses to operate similarly as permitted through the temporary outdoor programs. Requirements for permanent business use of on-street parking spaces, renamed as commercial parklets, were approved by the Traffic and Parking Board on November 15, 2021.
As the April 1, 2022 temporary program expiration drew near, the business community indicated it could use more time to transition from the temporary business programs to the permanent ones, especially as it expended added effort and financial resources to stay viable during the onset of the Omicron variant. The extension until September 30, 2022, approved in March 2022, aligned with the recently extended date of the City’s declaration of local emergency and provided restaurants and retailers the benefit of more time to submit the necessary applications for permanent programs. In addition to the request for an extension of the business relief expiration date, amendments to the ordinance related to waivers of certain City regulations that are no longer required due to the 2020-2021 ordinances were included, which changed regulatory requirements in the City Code and Zoning Ordinance and made several temporary business relief programs permanently available. After September 30, 2022, businesses were required to transition from the temporary approvals to the permanent programs as outlined above.