Temporary Outdoor Dining Areas

The City of Lynnwood is allowing restaurants to have new and expanded temporary outdoor dining areas during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Governor's “Safe Start – Stay Health” plan. 

Restaurants that meet the Temporary Outdoor Dining Area Requirements(PDF, 240KB)  must register with the City prior to operating temporary outdoor dining areas. Registration is free and instantaneous (see below for registration form). Temporary outdoor dining areas must be removed at the start of Phase 4 or within 180 days of registration, whichever is first.   

It is the sole responsibility of each restaurant to comply with all applicable laws and orders. The City is not responsible or liable for any claims, injuries or liabilities arising out of, or related to, a business’ decision to adopt, or not adopt, any of the practices or procedures contained in this document. The City reserves the right to change requirements or revoke temporary outdoor dining at any time.

For More Information: Contact Development and Business Services at 425-670-5400.

Temporary Outdoor Dining Area Requirements

Area Allowed

  • Up to 50% of existing parking stalls, whichever is less.

  • Existing outdoor dining areas may add tents in accordance with the Temporary Outdoor Dining Requirements document.

Designating Outdoor Dining Area

  • Delineate area between parking/drive areas and outdoor seating with ropes, cones, or other highly visible materials.

  • If serving alcohol, must comply with licensing requirements.

Public Right-of-Way

  • Must not be located within public right-of-way or on public property.


Walkways and Sidewalks (Private Property)

  • Must maintain ADA access (60 inches of unobstructed width for access). May locate on private walkways and parking areas. 


  • May not reduce existing on-site parking by more than 50%.

  • ADA parking stalls may not be used for outdoor dining areas.


  •  Cannot block ingress/egress access for any buildings.

Fire Lanes

  •  Cannot block fire lanes. 


  • Spacing must comply with Governor’s social distancing requirements (individuals must be 6 feet apart).

  • At least 1 table must be ADA accessible.

Tents and Membrane Structures

  • Secured outdoor “market” umbrellas are allowed.

  • Tents or membrane structures are must comply with the Temporary Outdoor Dining Requirements document.

Liquor and Alcohol

Other Requirements 

  • Must comply with Governor’s guidance, Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) requirements, and Snohomish County Health District orders for phased reopening of business activities.

  • Must have landlord’s approval to operate outside.

  • Cannot eliminate any facilities or structures that meet existing ADA requirements.


  • Must be removed at the start of Phase 4. 


Why is the City allowing temporary outdoor dining areas?

During Phase 2 and 3 restaurants will have limited indoor seating capacity. Several restaurants have contacted the City expressing an interest in providing customers temporary outdoor seating options.

Does a restaurant need a permit to have A temporary outdoor dining area? How much does it cost?

Restaurants are required to register online with the City prior to operating temporary outdoor dining areas. Registration is free and instantaneous.

What if a restaurant is not following the requirements?

The City may periodically inspect this restaurant’s temporary outdoor dining area and will respond if we receive a complaint. Failure to comply with requirements may result in termination of the restaurant’s ability to have a temporary outdoor dining area.

Can restaurants serve alcohol in the temporary outdoor dining areas?

Yes. A restaurant must comply with all Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board requirements. For more information visit  https://lcb.wa.gov/covid19/covid-19_alcohol_licensee_guidelines and https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WALCB/bulletins/28e81ef

Is there an end date for temporary outdoor dining?

All temporary outdoor dining areas must be removed at the start of Phase 4.

Registration Form