Happening Now

The City of Asheville recently made updates to its outdoor dining program as applied to use of public space (streets and sidewalks).

The application process for 2024 permitting is now open. The application can be accessed on the City’s Development Portal or  access it directly here.

Program details are viewable in the Outdoor Dining Guide

Information sessions were held in December 2023 and January 2024. View the slide deck here



An brief overview video is above. To view a video with additional background and program details, click here

The updated program includes:

  1. A new outdoor dining ordinance that includes “streeteries” (use of public on-street parking spaces on city-managed streets)
  2.  A new fee structure that supports:
    1. Better alignment with the market value of commercial space
    2. Maximizing multiple public benefits when possible 
    3. Improved operational management of the program
  3. An outdoor dining guide that features standards and best practices along with clear guidance on the application and review process

Goals of the program: 

  • Support a welcoming, safe and active environment
  • Improve the application, review and enforcement process (which will benefit staff, applicants and the public)
  • Prioritize mobility and access for all including those with physical disabilities 
  • Transition elements of the temporary “AVL Shares Space” initiatives launched during COVID into long-term programs (i.e. parklets)
  • Support the success and resilience of Asheville’s local economy 
  • More appropriately account for the value of commercializing public space through an updated fee structure
  • Promote multiple public benefits whenever possible 


Program Updates Process / Engagement


Additional Information


Temporary to Long-Term Program Timeline

  • Spring 2020: Temporary AVL Shares Space initiatives launched.
  • December 2021: Most temporary initiatives transition to existing long-term programs; temporary parklets may remain. 
  • January 2022: Outdoor dining permits required for sidewalks through pre-existing process; temporary parklets may remain.
  • October 2022: Team launches long-term program development process.
  • February – August 2023: public engagement and stakeholder feedback on proposed updates.
  • September 11, 2023: City Council Planning & Economic Development Committee review
  • October 10, 2023: City Council Policy, Finance and HR Committee Review
  • October 24, 2023: City Council consideration/adoption – APPROVED
  • November 13, 2023 – Application period opens for 2024 permitting
  • January 2024: New policies, standards and fees apply to calendar year 2024 annual permit period 



The COVID-19 pandemic made the City and Community think differently about how public spaces – like streets, sidewalks and parking spaces – can be utilized to support the health, safety and welfare of the public in addition to fostering economic activity.

Through collaboration, communication and flexibility across sectors of government, business and community, the temporary AVL Shares Space initiatives launched in the spring and summer of 2020 enabled the testing of ideas. 

Public feedback on the temporary programs indicated support for continuing many aspects longer term.

An interdepartmental team developed updates to the program based on lessons learned during the temporary AVL Shares Space initiatives launched during COVID-19 as well as established and emerging best practices. 

AVL Shares Space Temporary Initiatives



Dana Frankel

Downtown Planning Manager




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