Sidewalk Occupancy Permit


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​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]

​​​​​​​​​​​​​*​​Applications can now be submitted online via our new permitting system STREAM​Please search in Licenses in the online portal for Sidewalk Occupancy Permits

Please do not submit photos of street set up that is expected to be used only during street closures. ​​

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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 required information is uploaded, which should include the following:

Useful information:
  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. The City of Ann Arbor must be listed as additionally insured. 
  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.
Please search in Licenses in the online portal for Sidewalk Occupancy Permits

Curbside Occupancy Platforms 

Please do not submit photos of non-platform street set up t​hat is expected to be used only during street closures. 

If you wish to extend your patio seating into the adjacent parking spaces to allow for social distancing, please review the guidelines of the Curbside Occupancy Platforms​​​​​. These permits are only issued on an annual basis for the storefront owner. 

Annual permits are valid from June ​1 of the current year to May 31 of the following year, although all platforms must be removed from the Monday of the last full week of October to the Monday of the last full week of April. On curb-less​ streets where platforms are not required (State Street from William to Washington), curbside dining areas must be removed Nov. 1 - April 1 to ensure winter street maintenance.​ Sidewalk-only setup is allowed through the full duration of permit. 

For a detailed design template, please refer to the Curbside Occupancy TemplateThis PDF template complies with the guidelines and is free for businesses to use. The design must be customized and sealed by an engineer or architect (as noted in the guidelines). 

Permit for Utilizing A Platform within the Street Parking Spaces to Extend Your Patio 

1.  Apply for a Commercial Temporary Structure Building Permit

2. Fill out a meter bag request​​ to reserve the parking meters to include with your sidewalk occupancy permit application in the next step. This will also need to be provided to PCI Municipal Services upon issuance of the Sidewalk Occupancy (Curbside Platform) permit. Meter Bag Policies​ 

3.  Fill out a sidewalk occupancy permit application​​ - Please search in Professional Licenses in the online portal for Sidewalk Occupancy ​(Curbside Platform)

4. Please upload a copy of your meter bag request in the files for your sidewalk occupancy permit application

5. Please allow at least 3 business days for you application to be reviewed

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]