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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Program Overview 2014


The Street Seats 2014 program has an application deadline of April 1st, 2014. This will allow the Transportation Bureau to evaluate applications together and involve neighborhood and business association. At this time applications from the downtown core (from Burnside to SW Harrison, SW 10th to SW 2nd) will not be permitted. 

Sponsors of existing Street Seat installations are also responsible for submitting applications by the deadline to request the renewal of their permit.


The Street Seats 2014 program has two options for applicants, public and private. A public Street Seat creates a new public space adjacent to the sidewalk. Similar to a miniature park, public Street Seats (often called “parklets” in other cities) serve the community by providing a new place for people to stop, sit, and enjoy the life of the street.

Private Street Seats allow restaurants and bars to extend outdoor seating into the parking lane. Private Street Seats also require a Café Seating permit, and allow restaurants and bars to provide table service and serve alcohol.


As a means to improve the design quality for the next round of Portland Street Seats, in 2014 Street Seat applications will be competing for a maximum of ten (10) new locations in Portland.  The following evaluation criteria will be used to evaluate the design submissions and award approvals:

  • Design quality.  What is the quality and creativity of the design?
  • Public seating.  Proposals that are designed to encourage public use of the space and/or choose to not extend an outdoor café seating permit will be prioritized. 
  • Streetscape enhancement.  How will the proposal enhance the aesthetic quality of the streetscape?
  • Quality of materials.  What is the quality and durability of proposed materials and furniture?
  • Appropriateness of location.  Is the proposed Street Seat likely to be well used and active?
  • Community support.   Demonstrated neighborhood support for proposal at the proposed location (including neighboring businesses and properties)


If your Street Seat application will include a request for private table service, applicants will need to comply with the Sidewalk Café Permit program guidelines

  • For locations that do not have existing outdoor seating a new permit application must be submitted and approved.  
  • For locations that have an existing permit, their permit will need to be modified by submitting a revised Sidewalk Café Concept Drawing and signing a new Responsible Party Agreement form.
  • All Café Seating Permits will need to be renewed annually through Sidewalk Café Program.  Additional information can be obtained by calling (503) 823-7002 option 5 or emailing
  • If applicable, you are also responsible for obtaining separate Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) permits


If your application is approved, you will be required to provide evidence of at least $1M in liability insurance – the same requirement as sidewalk café seating – naming the City of Portland as additional insured. Most businesses already carry this insurance; please check with your provider.


The platform will be owned and maintained by the applicant. The applicant is responsible for all costs associated with the design development, construction, installation, maintenance, and removal of the Street Seating platform. If your application is approved you will be required to sign an encroachment permit that outlines your responsibilities, including the requirement to keep the Street Seat platform free of debris, grime, and graffiti, and to keep all plants in good health. 

The permit obligates you to ensure that the facility is swept daily and debris is removed from under and around the platform a minimum of once a week.  Please see attached Sample Revocable Encroachment Permit.


Approved permits for this program expire in one year.  The permit will be renewable annually, pending review by Transportation staff.

If your business changes ownership you will either need to remove your Street Seat or transfer the permit to the new owner. Please contact City Staff at


Renewal applications are required to complete a new application form each year.  In addition, they must include:

  • Demonstration of continued community support for installation.
  • Drawings detailing any proposed design changes, if applicable.
  • For permits with Café Seating, a revised Sidewalk Café Concept Drawing and a signed Responsible Party Agreement form.
  • Confirmation of $1M in liability insurance.

Renewal application forms and attachments are due on April 1, 2014.  Permit fees will be due upon approval and prior to permit issuance.


All eligible applicants will be charged a $500 base permit fee.  If the platform requires other changes to the street (e.g. parking sign or striping changes) the applicant will be responsible for those costs. If the platform is to be located in a metered parking space, the applicant will be responsible for lost meter revenue. Transportation staff will provide accurate cost estimates of these charges based on location.  

Applicants wishing to extend a Café Seating Permit into the platform (to allow for table service and/or the consumption of alcohol) will be charged $105 per linear foot of right of way. This would result in an annual fee of $2,600 for 20ft platform ($500 base permit fee + $105x20ft). Applicants for private Street Seats will also be responsible for securing/updating City of Portland Café Seating permit and Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) permits.

Public Street Seats will not incur the linear foot charge and will not require Café Seating permits. Public Street Seats must be signed as such and must be visually distinct from the sponsoring business.

Permit fees are not due until approval of application, prior to the Transportation Bureau issuing a permit to install. 

Base fee for all applications    $500.00
Cafe seating permit for platform (if applicable)   $105/linear foot
Lost meter revenue (if applicable)      ~ $2,000-7,000, TBD based on location
Additional incurred costs (if applicable) (i.e. sign changes such as truck loading zone changes)  ~ $150-$500, TBD based on location


How to submit your completed application package:

  •     Format drawings to an 11x17 page layout
  •     Attach design package as a single electronic file, PDF format (150 dpi min, 10 MB max)
  •     Attach community support documentation package as a single electronic file, PDF format
  •     Send scanned application form and attachments by email to
  •     Submit by the April 1, 2014 deadline

Note: Permit fees are not due until approval of application, prior to issuing a permit to install. 


Applicants can refer to the San Francisco Parklet Manual for additional assistance.