Outdoor Dining

Outdoor Dining Update


On September 20, 2022, the Tustin City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1526, an amendment to the City's outdoor dining regulations to increase restaurants' ability to provide outdoor dining and seating areas. City staff used the results of an extensive community survey and outreach effort to craft the updated regulations, which are effective as of October 21, 2022. Initial outreach effort resulted in over 1,400 responses where members of the public shared their experiences using or operating temporary outdoor dining areas. The temporary outdoor dining measures were put in place in response to the pandemic, and businesses would have until December 31, 2022 to comply with any of the options provided in the new Outdoor Dining Regulations.  New Outdoor Dining Flyer Post-Workshop Info Opens in new window

Make an appointment to review outdoor dining options for your business

Request an appointment with a city planner by e-mailing TustinPlanning@tustinca.org or by calling (714) 573-3140.


  • November 10, 2022: Informational webinar hosted by Planning Staff at 10:30 a.m. Click here to watch the recorded webinar.
  • October 21, 2022: Effective date of Outdoor Dining Regulations Ordinance No. 1526
  • September 20, 2022 : City Council Meeting (Public Hearing): 2nd Reading and Adoption of Outdoor Dining Regulations Ordinance No. 1526
  • August 16, 2022 : City Council Meeting (Public Hearing): City Council holds introduction and first reading, by title only, of Outdoor Dining Regulations Ordinance No. 1526. Click here to view the staff report and draft ordinance. The City Council extends the Temporary Outdoor Dining, Retail, and Assembly Uses Program and the Waiver of the City's Fee for a Temporary Use Permit Application for Outdoor Dining, Retail, and Assembly Uses to December 31, 2022. The extension will allow staff to conduct additional educational outreach and allow time for businesses to comply with any of the outdoor dining options presented in the proposed Ordinance No. 1526. City Council Resolution No. 22-42 (see Page 56) was adopted by the City Council on August 16, 2022.
  • July 12, 2022: Planning Commission Meeting (Public Hearing): Planning Commission recommends approval of the proposed ordinance to the City Council. Click here to view the staff report and draft ordinance (Outdoor Dining Regulations Ordinance No. 1526)

Key highlights of the updated outdoor dining regulations

The amendment allows for three types of outdoor dining experiences as listed below: 

  1. Outdoor Dining Area: A permanently improved, separately identifiable outdoor dining area. Commonly includes enhanced flooring or decking, decorative fencing or planters, and furnishings. Requires review and approval by the Community Development Department.
  2. Outdoor Seating Area: Includes portable chairs, tables, and furnishings setup next to or near the restaurant. Does not include permanent improvements. No permit required, but the area would need to comply with the requirements described in the amendment.
  3. Dining in the Public Right-of-Way: One or both of the above-mentioned outdoor dining categories provided within the public right-of-way (sidewalk, street, etc.). Requires coordination with, and approval of, a License Agreement from the Public Works Department in addition to the typical requirements for either outdoor dining category. 

The amendment includes provisions that increases the maximum number of chairs that an outdoor dining and seating area can have before additional parking is required. 

Restaurants located in a commercial center of 30,000 square feet or more - such as the Tustin Marketplace and District - can convert up to three (3) parking spaces into part of an Outdoor Dining Area without needing to replace them. Additional parking reductions can be requested through a Conditional Use Permit application subject to Zoning Administrator review and approval.

Businesses in the commercial portion of Old Town Tustin may be eligible to participate in the Parking Exception Program to satisfy required on-site parking spaces through a payment of an annual fee as determined by Fee Resolution of the City Council. Entry into this program involves going through the public hearing process, which typically takes a minimum of two months to complete.  Please speak with a planner to discuss if your business is eligible to participate in the Parking Exception Program.


We encourage feedback on your experiences visiting or operating outdoor dining in Tustin. Should you have questions or comments, please contact Associate Planner Jorge Maldonado at Jmaldonado@TustinCA.org or (714) 573-3174.

Additional Background Information and Resources

>> Temporary Outdoor Dining Program
>> Outdoor Dining Ordinance Update - Planning Commission Meeting July 12, 2022