outdoor tables at cameron village

Temporary Structures for Business


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COVID-19 Commercial Building Codes Checklist Definition of Technically Infeasible Structures in the Public Right-of-Way

During the pandemic, we’ve seen many Raleigh businesses install temporary outdoor structures in order to continue and provide services. This includes bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other commercial businesses. These temporary outdoor structures are usually heated during the winter months and provide a cozy place for customers to safely gather. 

Below are the requirements for the installation of a temporary structure for outdoor seating on private property. You may need to hire a design professional, including an architect, to assist you with this process.

A structure attached to a building is considered permanent and is not applicable to these guidelines.

COVID-19 Commercial Building Codes Checklist

This information is intended to streamline permitting and inspection approvals for only temporary shelters and tents for businesses. If any of the additions become permanent, they will need to be re-permitted as permanent structures. You may need to hire a design professional, including an architect, to assist you with this process.

Temporary Structure – (Less than 180 days)

  1. A building permit is only required if the structure exceeds 120 sq. ft.
  2. A zoning permit is required for all temporary structures.
  3. The construction documents shall include a site plan.
  4. The structure shall be located in accordance with Table 602 of the 2018 N.C. Building Code.
  5. The construction documents shall conform to structural strength and uplift requirements.
  6. The construction documents shall include the occupancy, means of egress, and occupant load.
  7. The construction documents shall include the location of new electrical lights, switches, and receptacles. (Electrical permit required if applicable)
  8. The construction documents shall include the location and type of heating or cooking equipment. (Mechanical and Electrical permit required if applicable)
  9. A portable fire extinguisher shall be provided as required by Section 906.1 of the 2018 NC Building Code.
  10. An accessible route to toilet facilities is required. The addition shall provide access to the maximum extent that is technically feasible.

Temporary Tents and Membrane Structures – (Less than 180 days)

  1. A building permit is not required for temporary tents, canopies, or membrane structures.
  2. A zoning permit is required for all temporary tents or membrane structures.
  3. A fire operational permit is only required for tents in excess of 800 sq. ft.
  4. A fire operational permit is only required for standalone tents (12 or more feet from a building) and opens on all four sides if the tent exceeds 1800 sq. ft.
  5. The construction documents shall include a site plan.
  6. With an occupant load of 50 or greater, the construction documents shall include means of egress, seating capacity, and seating arrangement.
  7. The construction documents shall include the location of new electrical lights, switches, and receptacles. (Electrical permit required if applicable)
  8. The construction documents shall include the location and type of heating or cooking equipment. (Mechanical and electrical permit required if applicable)
  9. A portable fire extinguisher shall be provided as required by Section 906.1 of the 2018 NC Fire Code.
  10. An accessible route to toilet facilities is required. The addition shall provide access to the maximum extent that is technically feasible.

Definition of Technically Infeasible

An alteration of a facility that has little likelihood of being accomplished because existing physical or existing site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features which are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are necessary to provide accessibility. 

Structures in the Public Right-of-Way

The information on this page applies to requirements on private property and not the public right-of-way. Temporary outdoor seating in the public right-of-way is managed by the Emergency Management and Special Events Department. Visit the Outdoor Seating webpage for more information.  

Contact

 

Email hospitalitypermits@raleighnc.gov or call 919-996-2200 to get started.

Lead Department:
Permits and Inspections
Service Categories:
Non-Residential PermitsZoning Permits

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