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Guidelines for Businesses with Outdoor Dining

These are incredibly challenging times for restaurant owners in Norco and throughout the nation,with thousands of establishments—from mom-and-pop eateries to high-flying restaurants from celebrity chefs—going out of business. Therefore, cities are attempting to assist existing restaurants through business-friendly policies. In Norco, restaurants are permitted to expand their patio dining into parking lots until the California Department of Public Health allows indoor dining to resume at full capacity.

No permit is required provided the following conditions are met:

  • The entire outdoor dining area is on private property and not in the public right-of-way (i.e., street and sidewalks);
  • Driveway entrances/exits, fire lanes and on-site drive-aisles remain clear and unobstructed at all times;
  • All handicap Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessibility paths of travel and parking remains clear and unobstructed; and
  • Tents and membrane structures do not exceed 400 square feet or 700 square feet if open on all sides (anything larger than that will require a building permit), and a minimum clearance of 12 feet is maintained to all structures and all other tents.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of each restaurant owner to adhere to the following:

  • Compliance with the California Department of Public Health requirements/ guidelines for dining during COVID-19;
  • Compliance with the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC);
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA);
  • Compliance with all applicable Building and Fire Safety regulations and manufacturer installation instructions for temporary tents; and
  • Obtain permission from the property owner.

The City hopes that the expanded outdoor seating areas will partially compensate for the loss of indoor dining revenue. This policy may change as the State of California modifies its limitations on indoor dining.

For more information, contact the Planning Department at (951) 270-5682 or planning@ci.norco.ca.us.