Outdoor Dining

What Was Approved

On March 27, 2023, the City Council approved zoning ordinance amendment changes related to outdoor dining use permits. All outdoor dining uses will need  approval from the Zoning Administrator. Changes to the zoning ordinance include:

  • Creation of a definition of ‘outdoor dining’
  • Consolidation of requirements for outdoor dining in a new Supplementary Provisions section
  • Allowance for administrative reductions in required parking to accommodate outdoor dining
  • Addition of related administrative authority to regulate outdoor dining, including standards for administrative conditions, inspections, and revocation for unaddressed code violations.

How to Apply for an Outdoor Dining Permit

Restaurants will need to submit an outdoor dining application form and submission materials online to the Building Permits desk.

  1. Submit application form. The Outdoor Dining Application Form PDF is located here.  
  2. City Staff Review and coordination. The City will review the use and any potential impacts and request additional information from the owner, if necessary. The application will be reviewed for compliance with state and federal requirements (see federal, state and local authority code info below.)
  3. Application approval. If the use request meets all code requirements, then the Zoning Administrator will sign off on the outdoor dining use permit. Staff will provide a copy of the approved permit to the owner and will file a copy with City records.

Application Form

The Outdoor Dining Application Form PDF is located here.  If you have any questions about the process or the form, please email outdoordining@fallschurchva.gov. When the form is complete and you are ready to submit your application, please submit your application to permits@fallschurchva.gov

Other Federal, State, and Local Authority Code Application to Outdoor Dining Uses

Local jurisdictions are expressly granted the right by the state to modify local zoning regulations to modify site plan requirements and to regulate noise impacts. Federal and State Codes establish certain baselines for all businesses and cannot be relaxed by local governments. Examples of federal and state code provisions include:

  • Occupancy levels
  • Adequate Toilet Fixtures
  • Restaurant egress in relation to table and chair placement Alcohol and Beverage Consumption (ABC)
  • Businesses that would like to expand their current outdoor areas or establish new outdoor areas must apply to their local ABC agent. Further, if alcohol is served outside, a barrier must be provided around the seating area.
  • Americans with Disability Acts (ADA) provisions
  • Pathway to entrances
  • Parking spaces
  • Fire Code
  • Tents
  • Heaters

Relevant Documents

Please contact Laura Arseneau at larseneau@fallschurchva.gov.