Fort Collins Outlines Process for Expansion of Outdoor Dining and Retail Areas

The City of Fort Collins will allow some businesses to operate temporary outdoor dining and retail areas in the public right-of-way once dine-in service resumes.

The change will allow businesses to expand service options while maintaining physical distancing.

Restaurants, bars, breweries, retail, and other similar establishments may apply to the City to open an outdoor seating or retail area on a sidewalk or in public parking spaces in accordance with state guidelines.

If approved, the City will provide barriers for the outdoor area, and the business would provide furnishings.

Businesses must submit the number of tables, chairs, and other amenities, as well as a diagram of the proposed area in their application.

In other areas of Fort Collins that are less dense or where a business has its own parking lot, businesses can apply for a variance from City parking rules to create an outdoor dining or retail area in their own parking lot or property.

The temporary outdoor dining/retail area program is designed to run through the end of September. It is meant to help businesses increase seating capacity while also enforcing physical distancing once dine-in service is resumed.

The temporary outdoor dining/retail areas will have additional regulations, including hours of operation and distancing of tables.

A document with frequently asked questions is attached to this press release. That document and other information is available online at and under “Resources.”

The application for businesses can be found at

Additional questions should be directed to the Fort Collins Engineering Department at [email protected].

For more about the City’s response to COVID-19, visit

Business resources related to COVID-19 can be found at

Community outreach and resources related to COVID-19 can be found at

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