Sidewalk Occupancy Permit

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Procedure to Receive a Sidewalk Occupancy Permit

Persons wishing to occupy public space for outdoor seating, public vending or any other public use, must first obtain a Sidewalk Occupancy Permit from the City of Ann Arbor. Applicants are asked to carefully ensure that all packet information is uploaded, which should include the following:

  • A Permit Application (completed through online portal)
  • A Notification Form
  • An Insurance Requirement Form
  • U of M Stadium Events Restrictions Map
  • A Copy of Chapter 47, Section 4:14
  • A Copy of Administrative Regulations
  • A Copy of Area Association Representative Contact List 
  1. Applicants may apply for an annual permit or daily permit. Annual permits are valid from June 1 of the current year to May 31 of the following year.
  2. Daily permits are valid only on the days specified on the permit.
  3. ONLY the owner or manager of a street level business or property may submit applications for an annual permit between April 1 and April 30. After April 30, anyone may apply for an annual permit in accordance with the requirements set forth in Chapter 47, Section 4:14(2)(a).
  4. Applications for a daily permit may be submitted by anyone in accordance with the requirements set forth in Chapter 47, Section 4:14(2)(b).
  5. The applicant should clearly identify on the application the area the wish to occupy. It must also indicate the total square footage and the items to be displayed or reason for occupancy.
  6. Prior to the issuance of the permit, the applicant must give written notice (on the form provided by the City) to the business(es) directly adjacent to the sidewalk area to by occupied and approval from any and all business within 75 feet in direct competition with applicant's items. All parties must be notified at least 72 hours before any sidewalk occupancy permit can be issued. Street level businesses wishing to occupy sidewalk space directly adjacent to (in front of) their business do not have to comply with this requirement. [See Administrative Rules for additional requirements.]
  7. Pursuant to Chapter 47, Section 4:14(12) applicants for Sidewalk Occupancy permits must submit evidence of adequate insurance coverage consisting of a certificate issued by an authorizing agent of the insurance company with the required amendments and/or changes per the attached Insurance Requirement Form. Faxed copies must be sent directly from the insurance company.
  8. Fees for Sidewalk Occupancy Permits are:
    • ANNUAL PERMIT: $1.00 per square foot of sidewalk space occupied between June 1 and May 31
    • DAILY PERMIT: $0.05 per day per square foot of sidewalk space occupied.
  9. Before using any sidewalk occupancy permit involving the sale of food or product for human consumption, a copy of the Application for Certification must be received from the County Health Officer.
  10. The permit must be prominently displayed so that it is visible to the public while conducting activities permitted by this Chapter. The permit holder must provide refuse receptacles that cannot be deposited in City refuse containers.
  11. The permit holder must provide for a pedestrian walkway at least 6 feet wide.
Emailed applications are encouraged. Please email to [email protected]

Downtown Pilot Patio Extension Program 2021

If you wish to extend your patio seating into the adjacent parking spaces to allow for social distancing, please review the guidelines of the Downtown Pilot Patio Extension Program​.

Permit for Utilizing Street Parking Spaces in 2021 to Extend Your Patio 

1.  Fill out a meter bag request – the DDA will waive all meter bag fees

2.  Fill out a sidewalk occupancy permit application​ & obtain required insurance

  • Make sure your application included details of your expanded space, complete with a diagram, photos, and measurements
  • The DDA is paying all sidewalk occupancy permit fees for permanent businesses within the DDA boundary for the 2021 season. Please calculate the fee for the City's records but

3.  Email all required documentation (the meter bag request, sidewalk occupancy permit application & insurance) in one email to the following:

Also, include your area association director on the email.

4.  Rent grabber cones & place them once your meter bag request and sidewalk occupancy permit is approved

 5.  Restaurants serving alcohol:

The permit the MLCC created last year for restaurants to extend into the street should be permanent, so if you received a permit last year to extend it should still be active. If you deactivated it to save cost, then you will have to reapply with the MLCC. Make sure to confirm with the MLCC that your extended space is covered in 2021.  Visit their webpage and/or connect with them directly. Email: [email protected]

Tents and Temporary Structures

New sidewalk and street occupancy applications and modifications to previously issued sidewalk or street occupancy permits can be submitted to [email protected] with photos and updated square footage, if applicable. Any and all set ups that include temporary structures or tents must adhere to the guidelines in this document. Please allow additional time for approval, as set ups with temporary structures or tents may require additional review and/or inspections. Once approved, you will receive a copy of your sidewalk occupancy permit, via email.

MDOT Trunklines

Sidewalk Occupancy located along North Main Street, Huron Street, Washtenaw Avenue or Jackson Avenue or Road must obtain a permit from the city as well as a permit from MDOT to use the State right-of-way.
You must apply and pay electronically through MDOT MPG: Instructions for accessing the system are included with this application. State of Michigan Form 2020 (Certificate of Insurance) is a requirement for businesses located on MDOT trunklines and must be submitted electronically. Contact your insurance agent for more information. This form does not preclude the City’s insurance requirements.
Please attach copies of documentation generated during your online permitting process to this application.

A copy of the City of Ann Arbor's council approved resolution to enforce on MDOT trunklines​ will need to be provided with your application to MDOT 

For questions concerning the State's online application process please contact:
Matthew Kenwell
Michigan Department of Transportation, Brighton TSC
517-403-3252, [email protected]

​Customer Service Center

Larcom City Hall, first floor 
8.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday (except holidays)

301 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Assistance by phone or email 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (except holidays)
[email protected]