COVID-19 Reopening Permits

The City of Pasadena has implemented various expedited procedures and have modified regulations to facilitate the rapid re-opening of qualified dining and retail establishments. Modified regulations will grant certain restaurants the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Accordingly, several permitting processes have also been modified to be expedited in order to facilitate rapid re-openings. To learn more about these temporary regulations and processes, refer to the list below.

For questions related to these permit applications, please email bmoss@cityofpasadena.net or you can also leave a voicemail at 626) 744-7068. Note that due to COVID-19 closures, this call will not reach a live person. All calls will be returned within one business day.  For general questions regarding the re-openings, social distancing, business protocols, health and safety requirements and other COVID-19 questions not related to these applications, contact Environmental Health at (626) 744-6005.

In response to the business re-openings, the City has implemented a temporary ‘Express Plan Check’ process for non-structural tenant improvements for restaurants and retailers (no new construction).  Projects which fall into one of the following thresholds will be categorized as "EXPRESS – RESTAURANT AND RETAIL NON-STRUCTURAL" and the review should be completed no later than the following business day.

  1. Tenant improvements under 10,000 sf without structural alterations for restaurants and retailers only
  2. Commercial change of use less than 10,000 sf without structural alterations for proposed restaurants and retailers only

Qualified applicants can begin the plan check review process online using this portal. Under the Express Plan Check process, qualified tenant improvements with complete and code-compliant plans will be reviewed within one business day. To begin the process, complete the following information, upload your plans and building permit application, and submit three (3) hardcopies of the plans to the Permit Center.

Fees: Plan check fees are valuation-based. Fees will be calculated after your application is received. Review of your plan check will begin after fees are paid. Refer to the Building Division fee schedule.

Note that the plan review process WILL NOT begin until after you submit both the online form and submit the hardcopies of the plans.

In response to the business re-openings, the City has implemented a temporary ‘Expedited Plan Check’ process for structural tenant improvements for restaurants and retailers (except new construction).  Projects which fall into the following threshold will be categorized as "EXPEDITED COMMERCIAL PLANCHECK - RESTAURANT AND RETAIL" and the review should be completed within one week.

  1. Restaurants and retail tenant improvements under 10,000 sf with structural alterations (except new construction).

Qualified applicants can begin the plan check review process online using this portal. Under the Expedited Plan Check process, qualified tenant improvements with complete and code-compliant plans will be reviewed within one week. To begin the process, complete the following information, upload your plans and building permit application, and submit three (3) hardcopies of the plans to the Permit Center. You will be contacted within one business day with the amount due for the plan check fees; these fees must be paid in order for the plan check reviews to commence.

Fees: Plan check fees are valuation-based. Fees will be calculated after your application is received. Review of your plan check will begin after fees are paid. Refer to the Building Division fee schedule.

Note that the plan review process WILL NOT begin until after you complete all of the following: (1) submit the online form and upload the required documents, (2) submit the hardcopies of the plans to the Permit Center, and (3) pay the required plan check fees.

In response to the business re-openings, the City has implemented a temporary administrative process for approval of alcohol licenses for qualified restaurants. Projects which fall into the following threshold will be qualified for an administrative CUP approval which shall be completed within five (5) business days from the date of submittal, without a public hearing, for the serving of alcohol for on-site consumption.

  1. New restaurants wanting to serve alcohol and existing wanting to begin serving alcohol that were not before. Businesses that operate as or plan to operate as a bar without a restaurant component are not eligible for this administrative CUP approval. (Refer to the definition for ‘restaurant’ in Section 17.80.020 of the Zoning Code.)

Qualified applicants can begin the CUP process online using this portal. Under the Administrative CUP for Alcohol Sales process, qualified restaurants with complete and code-compliant CUP applications will be reviewed within five business days. To begin the process, complete the following information and upload your application and the required supplemental forms. You will be contacted once your case has been entered with the amount due for the application fees; these fees must be paid in order for the review process to commence.

Fees: $ 5,419 application fee + $218 Categorical Exemption fee + a 3% records management fee will be collected after your application is received. Refer to Planning fee schedule.

Until further notice, Expedited Design Review applications are currently being accepted for existing and new retail businesses and restaurants that are proposing the following types of projects:

  1. Signs (except building identification signs, new/amended Master Sign Plans Creative Sign Permits or Sign Exceptions)
  2. Awnings
  3. Exterior Paint
  4. Storefront Alterations within existing openings that do not affect historic features such as mullions, bulkheads, doors, and transom windows.
  5. Alterations to create new openings in non-historic buildings
  6. Other minor alterations at the discretion of the Director.

To discuss whether a project not on this list may qualify for Expedited Design Review, or for any other questions about the process, please call 626-744-4009 to speak to a Design & Historic Preservation staff member.

Prior to submitting an application, please review the following Expedited Consolidated Design Review Submittal Requirements to ensure that your application is complete.  Incomplete applications will be delayed.

Fees: Fees will vary depending on the scope of work proposed. Fees will be calculated after the application is submitted. Design Review fees for  signs, awnings, painting and similar minor projects is $285; any projects that include storefront/window/door modifications would be $679.  A 3% surcharge applies.

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of dining establishments while granting them the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any dining establishment seeking to expand its dining area within private property shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses that are legally allowed to serve food in a sit-down format (does not include drive-through establishments).
Application Process
Additional State License Requirements for Businesses Serving Alcohol
  • In addition to a Type 41 or a Type 47 license, the business must also obtain a COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Form 218 and Form 253). These forms must be submitted directly to ABC. Additional information regarding these forms is available at: https://www.abc.ca.gov/abc-218-cv19-instructions/
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply (i.e., tent permit, plan check fees to install permanent shade structures, etc.)
Operating Standards

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of dining establishments while granting them the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any dining establishment seeking to expand its dining area into the sidewalk shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses that are legally allowed to serve food in a sit-down format (does not include drive-through establishments).
Application Process
  • Complete this application form
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena
  • For uses that obtain a legal right to serve alcohol, refer to Question 5 on the application form.
  • Submit copy of food menu, if alcohol will be served in outdoor dining space.
  • Submit application form, food menu (if applicable) and Certificate of Insurance to the Public Works Department via the link at the bottom of this section.
Additional State License Requirements for Businesses Serving Alcohol
  • In addition to a Type 41 or a Type 47 license, the business must also obtain a COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Form 218 and Form 253). These forms must be submitted directly to ABC. Additional information regarding these forms is available at: https://www.abc.ca.gov/abc-218-cv19-instructions/
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply (i.e., tent permit, plan check fees to install permanent shade structures, etc.)
Operating Standards

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of dining establishments while granting them the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any dining establishment seeking to expand its dining area into alleys shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses

Businesses that are legally allowed to serve food in a sit-down format (does not include drive-through establishments) and are adjacent to a pedestrian alley.

Application Process
  • Complete this application form
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena
  • For uses that obtain a legal right to serve alcohol, refer to Question 5 on the application form and contact Planning staff for further direction on alcohol regulations
  • Submit copy of food menu, if alcohol will be served in outdoor dining space.
  • Submit application form, food menu (if applicable) and Certificate of Insurance to the Public Works Department via the link at the bottom of this section.
Additional State License Requirements for Businesses Serving Alcohol
  • In addition to a Type 41 or a Type 47 license, the business must also obtain a COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Form 218 and Form 253). These forms must be submitted directly to ABC. Additional information regarding these forms is available at: https://www.abc.ca.gov/abc-218-cv19-instructions/
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply (i.e., tent permit, plan check fees to install permanent shade structures, etc.)
Operating Standards

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of dining establishments while granting them the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any dining establishment seeking to expand its dining area into areas identified for on-street dining shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses that are legally allowed to serve food in a sit-down format (does not include drive-through establishments) and are adjacent to an area identified for on-street dining.
Application Process
  • Complete this application.
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena, see requirements attached.
  • For uses that obtain a legal right to serve alcohol, refer to Question 5 on the application form and contact Planning staff for further direction on alcohol regulations.
  • Submit copy of food menu, if alcohol will be served in outdoor dining space.
  • Submit application form and Certificate of Insurance to the Public Works Department via this online portal (see link at bottom).
Fees:
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply.
Design Guidelines

For design regulations, requirements and guidelines, refer to the Temporary On-Street Dining Guidelines

Additional State License Requirements for Businesses Serving Alcohol
  • In addition to a Type 41 or a Type 47 license, the business must also obtain a COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Form 218 and Form 253). These forms must be submitted directly to ABC. Additional information regarding these forms is available at: https://www.abc.ca.gov/abc-218-cv19-instructions/
Operating Standards

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of dining establishments while granting them the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Applications for the installation of parklets for dining and/or non-dining use will be considered. The purpose of this application is to provide a preliminary screening tool to determine if a parklet could be installed at the site identified by the applicant. If the location is approved, the applicant will be required to submit a design plan for the parklet for review and approval prior to the applicant constructing parklet. A pre-approved prototypical parklet design will be provided by the City to the applicant for their use. Should the applicant decide not to use the prototypical design and prepare an alternate design, it must be reviewed and approved prior to construction. Any applicant seeking to expand its dining area or non-dining seating space into a parklet shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses
  • For Dining: Businesses that are legally allowed to serve food in a sit-down format (does not include drive-through establishments).
  • For Non-Dining Use: Businesses that are legally allowed to conduct business in Pasadena.
Application Process
  • Complete this application form.
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena.
  • For uses that obtain a legal right to serve alcohol, refer to Question 5 on the application form.
  • Submit copy of food menu, if alcohol will be served in outdoor dining space.
  • Submit application form, food menu (if applicable) and Certificate of Insurance to the Public Works Department via the link at the bottom of this section.
Design Guidelines

For design regulations, requirements and guidelines, refer to the Temporary Parklet Guidelines.

Additional State License Requirements for Businesses Serving Alcohol
  • In addition to a Type 41 or a Type 47 license, the business must also obtain a COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Form 218 and Form 253). These forms must be submitted directly to ABC. Additional information regarding these forms is available at: https://www.abc.ca.gov/abc-218-cv19-instructions/
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply (i.e., tent permit, plan check fees to install permanent shade structures, etc.)
Operating Standards

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of barbershops, hair salons, personal care service establishments, gyms, fitness facilities, yoga and dance studios, and personal training in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols, social distancing requirements and guidelines established by the State of California, California Department of Public Health, California Department of Industrial relations (Cal/OSHA), and all applicable regulatory agencies. Any applicant seeking to expand its non-dining operating space on-street, within public sidewalk or a permitted parklet shall comply with the following (this application does not apply for private property):

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses legally allowed to conduct business within the City of Pasadena which operate as a barbershop, hair salon, gyms, fitness facilities, yoga and dance studios, personal training, massage establishments and personal care service establishments (except tattoo establishments).
Eligible Locations
  • Gyms, fitness facilities, yoga and dance studios, personal training can be:
    • Allowed on-street with approval of this City permit application. Permittees will be conditioned to coordinate with other permittees sharing the common on-street closure on operating hours, if applicable.
    • Allowed in parklets with the Temporary Parklet Permit application.
    • Not allowed in sidewalks or alleys.
  • Barbershops, hair or nail salons, massage establishments, or other personal care services (except tattoo establishments) can be:
    • Allowed on-street or in sidewalk with this City permit application. Permittees will be conditioned to coordinate with other permittees sharing the common on-street closure on operating hours, if applicable.
    • Allowed in parklets with the Temporary Parklet Permit application.
    • Not allowed in alleys.
Compliance with Local Guidance Documents and Protocols
Application Process
  • Complete this application form.
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena.
  • Submit application form and Certificate of Insurance to the Public Works Department via the link at the bottom of this section.

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of dining establishments while granting them the ability to temporarily expand dining areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any dining establishment seeking to expand its dining area into a City-owned (municipal) parking lot shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses that are legally allowed to serve food in a sit-down format (does not include drive-through establishments).
Application Process
  • Complete this application.
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena, see requirements attached.
  • For uses that obtain a legal right to serve alcohol, refer to Question 5 on the application form and contact Planning staff for further direction on alcohol regulations.
  • Submit copy of food menu, if alcohol will be served in outdoor dining space.
  • Submit application form, food menu (if applicable) and Certificate of Insurance via this online portal (see link at the bottom of this section).
Compliance with Local Guidance Documents and Protocols
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply (i.e., tent permit, plan check fees to install permanent shade structures, etc.)
Operating Standards
  • Refer to operation standards contained in this application.

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of barbershops, hair salons, personal care service establishments, gyms, fitness facilities, yoga and dance studios, and personal training in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols, social distancing requirements and guidelines established by the State of California, California Department of Public Health, California Department of Industrial relations (Cal/OSHA), and all applicable regulatory agencies. Any applicant seeking to expand its non-dining outdoor space in a City-owned (municipal) parking lot shall comply with the following (this application does not apply for dining establishments):

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses legally allowed to conduct business within the City of Pasadena which operate as a barbershop, hair salon, gyms, fitness facilities, yoga and dance studios, personal training, massage establishments and personal care service establishments (except tattoo establishments).
Application Process
  • Complete this application.
  • Obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance with an endorsement for the City of Pasadena, see requirements in attached.
  • Submit application form and Certificate of Insurance via the link at the bottom of this section.
Compliance with Local Guidance Documents and Protocols
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Depending on the scope proposed, additional permits, approvals or inspections may be required for which fees may apply (i.e., tent permit, plan check fees to install permanent shade structures, etc.)
Operating Standards

The City of Pasadena has implemented the following procedures and regulations to facilitate the re-opening of businesses while granting them the ability to temporarily expand into approved outdoor areas in order to comply with COVID-19 related public health and safety protocols and social distancing requirements. Any business seeking to expand its operating area with the use of a tent or canopy on the sidewalk, street, alley or parking lot shall comply with the following:

Eligible Uses
  • Businesses that are legally operating outside with a City issued outdoor dining or non-dining permit
Application Process
  • Complete this application form
  • Submit application form and proposed site plan:
    • Location and dimensions of the tent
    • Property lines and business frontage
    • Location of patron entry and exit
    • Location of planned electrical and mechanical equipment
    • Locations of all-surface improvements such as street light and traffic signal poles, trees, tree wells, parking meters, news racks, bus benches, and trash receptacles which are located within the public right-of-way in front of the business
    • The existing and proposed pedestrian circulation patter. Show compliance with ADA requirements
    • The location of all utility connections to be used in the sidewalk dining operation
Fees
  • There is no fee for this permit
Operating Standards
Tents and Canopies
  • There is no distinction between tents, canopies or umbrellas with or without walls
  • 12 foot Fire break required for every 70 linear feet of 10 x 10 tents
  • Anchorage is required (ropes,  weights) to withstand weather and prevent collapsing
  • Small Tents (under 10 occupancy) – conform to CPAI 84 for fabric fire resistance
  • Large Tents (over 10) – conform to SFM fire resistive standard
  • Fire Resistance Tag/Seal of Registration must be intact, legible and securely affixed
  • Occupancy load, egress width, chair, table and aisle requirements mirror other assembly uses
  • Tents must be maintained free of combustible materials
  • A minimum distance of 20 Feet is required for any open flame device, heating appliance, generators or parked vehicles
  • If the address number on a building is not visible from the street, signage must be added to the street side of the tent
  • If any fire department connections are not visible from the street, signage must be added to the street side of the tent identifying such
  • Fire hydrants may not obstructed
  • Tent walls are to be clear for vehicular and pedestrian traffic when located in the street, alley or sidewalk.  Non-clear walls are not permitted
Fire Extinguishers
  • The minimum legal size is 2A 10BC with an annual inspection (by Cal SFM registered company) must be noted on tag or label
  • Fire extinguishers are required every 75 feet of foot travel
Propane
  • The use and storage of propane shall be approved under permit from the Pasadena Fire Department and the Pasadena Municipal Code. Contact Kim Yu, kyu@cityofpasadena.net with any inquiries
  • Propane cylinders shall be DOT approved, in serviceable condition and used in accordance with manufacturer’s documentation
  • Storage of cylinders, full or empty, shall be outside and secured within suitable enclosures with approved placards, signs and labels installed in an approved manner
  • Storage and use of cylinders shall be a minimum of ten feet from weeds, grass, brush, trash and other combustible materials
  • Approved vehicle impact protection shall be installed in storage areas adjacent to or near any vehicular driving surface
  • Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of propane
  • Approved signs stating “No Smoking” shall be conspicuously posted near the storage area
  • The storage area shall be no closer than 25 feet to any source of ignition
  • Cylinders in storage and in use shall be positioned with the pressure relief valve in direct communication with the vapor space of the container
  • Equipment associated with propane cylinders, including hoses, shall be in serviceable condition and used in accordance with manufacturer’s documentation
  • Propane cylinders and appliances shall be located outside and not be placed closer than 10 feet from tents or canopies and 5 feet from buildings and means of egress
  • Pressure relief devices shall be pointed away from the public, heat producing appliances, sources of ignition, tents, membrane structures and temporary special event structures
  • Propane cylinders shall not be positioned closer than five feet from heat producing appliances
  • Safety devices on cylinders shall not be tampered with or rendered ineffective
  • Propane shall be used with approved fire extinguishers in close proximity
  • Location of tanks shall provide protection from physical damage or other hazards
  • Propane cylinders shall be secured in place, in an approved manner
  • Propane is not allowed inside tents
  • Mushroom type propane heaters are not allowed inside of or within 10 feet of tents
  • Ducted propane heating systems may be permitted when installed per the PMC and manufacturers specifications
Electrical Heaters
  • Electrical heaters may be permitted when installed and operated per the PMC and manufacturers specifications
  • Electrical cords must be covered in an approved manner to avoid any trip hazards and heaters from tipping over