Important Considerations for Temporary Dining Structures


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for dining establishments throughout the country. The City of Littleton is committed to assisting the community in implementing alternative solutions. “Outdoor” dining in various types of structures has arisen as the most popular alternative solution for many business owners. Below is a list of items to consider when contemplating alternative structures for outdoor dining.

  • A building permit is required for alternative structures, regardless of square footage.
  • Consideration will be given to the following items as a part of the building permit review process:
    a. Snow loading – The ability of the structure, typically the roof, to withstand the weight of a snow load
    b. Wind loading – The ability of the structure to be anchored to prevent displacement in high winds
    c. Flammability – The flammability of structure coverings, particularly on structures in which heating is intended
    d. Heating – Electric heat is typically acceptable – Propane or other open flame heating is generally      prohibited
    e. Electrical Supply – Electrical supply is typically required to be within conduit – Extension cords are generally prohibited
  • Permits for temporary outdoor dining structures will be valid for a period of (6) months from the date of issuance
  • The Building Division will endeavor to review and process permit applications and issue permits for temporary outdoor dining structures within three (3) business days of receipt of a complete application.

For temporary outdoor patio dining (with no structure), businesses can apply for the Temporary Outdoor Expansion (TOE) program here or on the city website and the city will help secure approvals for a temporary expansion of liquor license premises and approval from South Metro Fire and Rescue.