Gaithersburg Establishes New Outdoor Seating Permit
Applications Now Being Accepted
Gaithersburg, Md. (July 9, 2021) Due to the continued popularity of outdoor dining, the City of Gaithersburg 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 and 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 and approve Site Plan Amendments for minor coverings. This allows for a streamlined and 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 and 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.