PASO ROBLES — Initially, the City of Paso Robles has only allowed temporary fixtures, like patio umbrellas, to be used in parklets, sidewalk dining areas, and other temporary outdoor areas as part of the Paso Robles parklet program. With the approach of winter and potential for rain and cooler temperatures, the City will allow more substantial coverings to be used in certain situations to enable businesses to continue outdoor services during inclement weather. 

The following summary provides overarching guidance for businesses interested in utilizing rain covers and outdoor heating devices during the winter months: 

Shade/Rain Covers 

• Canopies/Easy-Ups (no sidewalls) may be installed over a parklet or outdoor seating area. When exceeding 700 square feet, canopies require an operational permit from the Paso Robles Fire Department. As a general reference, the average Easy-Up is approximately 100 square feet. Canopies must be secured to prevent weather-related collapse with a minimum of 45 pounds resistance on each leg.

• Tents may be installed over a parklet or an outdoor seating area, but may not have more than one enclosed side per current COVID 19 public health restrictions. Tents exceeding 400 square feet require an operational permit from the Paso Robles Fire Department. Tents must be anchored to manufacturer specification or a minimum of 45 pounds per leg, whichever is greater.

• Canopies and tents may not be installed over public sidewalks, may not impede a minimum 4-foot clear pedestrian path of travel.

• Temporary structures may not be fixed to the pavement or sidewalk surface within the City right-of-way unless otherwise approved by the City Public Works Department. Emergency access or exit passageways shall be maintained at all times per California Fire Code

Outdoor Heaters 

• Portable outdoor gas (LPH) heating appliances may be used within parklets and outdoor seating areas, but may not be located beneath or closer than 10 feet to canopies/tents, and 5 feet umbrellas or similar combustible materials per California Fire Code.

• Paso Robles Fire Department Standards for Storage and Use of Portable LPG Outdoor Heaters: click here to download PDF

• Electric heaters may be utilized in outdoor areas. However, plans for installing outdoor electric heaters must be reviewed and approved by the City Building Department and Fire Department. Approved installations must also be inspected by the City Fire Department before use. 

For additional information about tent or canopy permitting requirements or use of outdoor heaters, contact the Paso Robles Fire Department at 805-227-7560. Requests for tent inspection should be made by the installing vendor a minimum of 48 hours in advance and before use by the public. Inspections can be coordinated by calling the Paso Robles FD Inspection Line at 805-227-7221.