Temporary Outdoor Expansion Program

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The Temporary Outdoor Expansion (TOE) Program is the process to permit any Littleton business to temporarily operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their building. All Littleton businesses are eligible for the TOE program.

There is no fee for this application and the city will make every effort to process the proposals quickly and provide all available assistance to the business owners.

Contact the city's planning department for questions about the Temporary Outdoor Expansion program.

Restaurants/bars that front on Main Street may be interested in the Weekends on Main program. In 2021, this program has transitioned to the Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants.

Program limitations and expiration
The temporary outdoor expansion (TOE) program was designed to help businesses cope with pandemic restrictions. The city has re-extended the TOE program until May 1, 2022 to help meet the needs of citizens and businesses as we transition out of pandemic restrictions. In early spring, the city will be reaching out to participants of this program to discuss its future.

Eligible outdoor areas

Under this program, eligible businesses may be able to temporarily expand into the following types of outdoor areas:

  • Public right-of-way, including sidewalks, street parking spaces, and possibly closing select streets
    In both scenarios, some limitations apply, as summarized below.
  • Private property, including off-street parking lots with the property owner's consent

Public right-of-way

Proposals to expand into the public right-of-way will require that a city inspector visit the business location and consider the closure proposal from a mobility and safety perspective. A city inspector may be able to approve a simple inspection in the field and issue an approval the following business day. More complex requests will be reviewed for:

  • Safety: ensuring any closure of the public right of way is done safely;
  • Mobility: considering impacts to people’s ability to get around the closure by foot, bike, wheelchair and car and how the proposal mitigates impacts with a traffic control plan, if necessary;
  • Local and emergency access: local access to adjacent homes and businesses must be maintained;
  • Once a temporary patio is established based on the plan provided to the city, a city inspector will do a final inspection;
  • A minimum of 5' (6' downtown) accessible walkway must be maintained as part of the approved plan.

Conditions and restrictions

 All conditions and restrictions below apply to the new, temporary outdoor patio/retail space only.

Program expiration
See notice at the top of this page.

Hours of operation
Outdoor patios opened under this program must close by 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and by 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Permits and licenses
City-issued permits may be necessary for certain proposals, for instance closing streets or alleys. Proposals to operate exclusively on private property will likely be approved more quickly, needing only the Temporary Outdoor Expansion (TOE) Proposal Form. Restaurants and bars wishing to extend their licensed premises will be required to file additional form(s) with the city clerk’s office to incorporate the temporary space into their licensed premises.

Temporary furnishings and railings can be used if desired. Installing fences/barriers over 5'9" in height, constructing a patio covering, performing electrical work, erecting gas-fired temporary heating, or other similar construction work will likely require building, fire or electrical permits. All furnishings and lighting must be easily removed at the end of the program period. No permanent structures or fixtures shall be installed in the public right-of-way.

Littleton's city clerk's office will assist in preparing Modification of Premises forms required by the state licensing authority. To initiate the process, the city clerk will require a control plan of how the boundary of the service area will be controlled, how the applicant/licensee will ensure no over-service or service to underage patrons, and how signage will be used to designate the modified space. Applicant/licensee must coordinate with the city clerk's office to pay the state permit fees. State regulations may be subject to frequent changes during this program period.

Additional COVID-19 health and safety requirements
More detailed guidance on how restaurants and bars must adhere to social distancing and health and safety protocols for resuming both indoor and outdoor dining is under development. The City of Littleton is committed to working with the state and the Tri-County Health Department and will release details as they are received.

Required documents and information

Review the Conditions and Restrictions above before submitting proposal. The following documents and information will be needed to complete the proposal form:

  • Littleton Business/Sales Tax Number
  • Littleton Liquor License Number (if applicable)
  • Sketch or drawing of the planned expansion area with the following details:
    • Dimensions of planned expansion area;
    • Location of your building in relation to the expansion area;
    • Location of the street in relation to the planned expansion area;
    • Indicate if the area is a sidewalk or parking spaces/lot;
    • Location, height, and width of any bar areas and any railings, fences, patio/shade coverings, or other temporary fixtures.
  • Letter of authorization from property owner or landlord
  • Documents must be in one of the following formats: pdf, doc, jpg, png; max file size is 5 megabytes.
  • Applicants are required to notify South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) of these plans. Contact the SMFR Fire Marshal’s office at 720-989-2230 or visit SMFR's Pre-Planned Special Events page.

Submit your proposal

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