Temporary Outside Seating License

Guidelines and Procedures
Outdoor Dining Graphic


The Town of North Andover is accepting applications for the temporary expansion of outdoor seating areas, consistent with COVID-19 Order No. 35 Clarifying the Progression of the Commonwealth’s Phased Workplace Re-Opening Plan, which, in part, details the process for reopening establishments for on-premises consumption of alcohol, and any subsequent related orders. The Town supports the use of outdoor areas available to food service establishments, whether public or private, in order to increase functional capacity in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency shutdown. Express permission from the Town is required prior to opening.

Subject to vote by the Board of Selectmen (June 9, 2020): The Board of Selectmen has established that the Inspector of Buildings shall have the authority to approve any relief that may be necessary pursuant to MGL c. 40A to expand the seating requirements for the purpose of permitting outdoor service.

Subject to vote by the Board of Selectmen (June 9, 2020): The Board of Selectmen acting as the Licensing Commission has established that the Town Manager may approve a change in the description to the licensed premises for the purpose of permitting outdoor alcohol service.

Businesses interested in using a public sidewalk, public street, parking spaces, or private property to serve food and alcohol shall use the procedures and guidelines enclosed herewith.  The following is a high-level process to follow:

  1. Submit online application here: https://northandoverma.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1071/record-types/6486
  2. Application will be circulated to the Town Clerk's Office, Inspector of Buildings, Health Director, Planning Director, Police Department, and Fire Department for review and approval. Every effort will be made to expedite review. Approval is not granted until confirmation is sent by the Town. 
  3. Your establishment must comply with the State’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces and the Sector-Specific Safety Standards: Restaurants
  4. Execute “SIDEWALK RESTAURANT PATIO LICENSE, MAINTENANCE AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT” with the Town of North Andover, when Town property is to be used for outdoor dining. This license will be provided upon the Town’s approval of your application. 
NameEmailConact for Questions About...
Suzanne Pelich, Assistant Town Clerkspelich@northandoverma.govLiquour Licensing
Brian LaGrasse, Health Directorblagrasse@northandoverma.govCOVID safety for staff and customers 
Jean Enright, Planning Directorjenright@northandoverma.govApplications, use of public parking or other public property
Paul Hutchins, Inspector of Buildingsphutchins@northandoverma.govADA and general accessibility
Lt. Bob Kilcoyne, Fire Prevention Officebkilcoyne@northandoverma.govFire Safety
Lt. Daniel Lanen, Policedlanen@napd.usTraffic Safety and Circulation

For additional information regarding COVID safety and sector-specific guidance for reopening, go to: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts


  1. Basic Information – fill out the basic information in the form (name, business name, address, etc.)
  2. Plan – submit a drawing showing the area you would like to use for outdoor dining that includes the following information and is consistent with the ABCC’s “Guidelines for Extension of Premises to Patio or Outdoor Areas”: 
  3. Dimensions of the public sidewalk, public parking area, or privately owned area you would like to use.
    1. Note: seating areas must be contiguous with the existing licensed premises. 
  4. Tents or Coverings. Use of tents anywhere requires approval of the Building Department and Fire Prevention Office.  Note additional requirements regarding tents and outdoor seating can be found under the Building, Health, and Safety Codes section of this document.
    1. Number of tents
    2. Dimensions
    3. Will the tent have side curtains?
    4. Upload tent’s flame resistance certification
  5. Site plan showing layout of tables and chairs and table dimensions. 
    1. NOTE: Tables must be spaced consistent with “Safety Standards and Checklist: Restaurants.” 
    2. The outdoor dining area and barriers must be accessible and meet ADA and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s regulations. https://www.mass.gov/law-library/521-cmr. This information is also included in this guidance packet.
  6. Photo or description of barriers to be used around the perimeter of the outdoor dining area. 
  7. Photo or description of changes to traffic/circulation patterns and/or available parking spaces.  

Responsibilities of the Restaurant 

The restaurant, through its owner and/or manager, is responsible for the following as it pertains to the use of the public sidewalk for outdoor dining: 

  1. Adherence to the plans and documents submitted, reviewed, and approved; 
  2. Procurement of tables, chairs, disinfecting stations, and any other physical items that will be inside the outdoor dining area; 
  3. Procurement and installation of temporary barriers to be placed around the perimeter of the outdoor dining area identifying the space and providing a buffer from pedestrian traffic; and 
  4. Providing evidence of liability insurance over the new dining space to the Town. 

Rights of the Town of North Andover 

  1. The Town of North Andover reserves the right to revoke its permission to allow the outdoor dining area for the following reasons: 
  2. The operation of the outdoor dining area is not in compliance with submitted safety protocols; 
  3. The operation of the outdoor dining area is negatively impacting pedestrian travel along the public sidewalk and/or public way and/or is not facilitating safe passage in accordance with Americans with Disability Act requirements; and
  4. The Health Agent, Chief of Police, and/or their designees determine that the operation of the outdoor dining area is negatively impacting public health and safety.



  1. The design of all outdoor seating or sales areas, proposed advertising, and operation plan shall be reviewed administratively by a Town of North Andover set of staff that includes the Inspector of Buildings, Health Director, Planning Director, Police Department, and Fire Department. 
  2. Restaurants must receive approval from the Town of North Andover Licensing Board (through the Board of Selectmen) for the expansion of premises of an existing license if alcohol is to be served. 
  3. Drawings do not need to be drawn by an architect or engineer, but shall include actual dimensions (in feet or inches). 
  4. The Licensee shall obtain and maintain liability insurance for the term of the License and while the Licensee uses the Town's sidewalk or property for the Sidewalk Patio; all such insurance coverages shall be maintained throughout the entire Term. 
  5. The minimum amount of general liability insurance shall be in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence and Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00) in the aggregate. The minimum amount of liquor liability insurance shall be One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence and Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000) in the aggregate. 
    1. Assault and battery coverage shall not be excluded from either the general liability insurance or the liquor liability insurance and shall be provided for the full policy limits of each. The minimum amount of worker's compensation (employer's liability) insurance shall be Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) per any one accident and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) per illness. The minimum amount of umbrella insurance shall be in the amount of Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) combined single limit and Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) in the aggregate. 
    2. The Town shall be named as an additional insured for each of the above insurance coverages. All insurance carriers shall carry an A.M. Best rating of "A-"or better. Each policy shall provide for a 30-day notice of cancellation or non-renewal clause, which clause shall also be indicated on each Certificate of Insurance. 
    3. Licensees having multiple locations of operation shall provide evidence of "per location" limits of coverage pertaining to the Site and Sidewalk Patio. Copies of each Certificate of Insurance naming the Town of North Andover as an additional insured are attached hereto. All contractors and sub-contractors performing work in the Sidewalk Patio area shall be required to carry general liability, workers' compensation and umbrella insurance in the above amounts, naming the Licensee and the Town as additional insureds, and the Licensee shall provide the Town with copies of each such Certificate of Insurance naming the Town as an additional insured.

Building, Health, and Safety Codes 

  1. The indoor and outdoor dining areas of the restaurant comprise one facility, and combined seating may not exceed the establishment’s seating capacity prior to March 1, 2020. 
  2. A minimum of 4’ of accessible sidewalk area must be left open for handicap access, including but not limited to pedestrian and wheelchair passage. The Inspector of Buildings reserves the right to determine whether adequate space exists for the creation of an outdoor dining area or outdoor sales area.
  3. Seating and service areas shall not obstruct safe, easy, and uninterrupted passage of pedestrians on the sidewalk or in the roadway (if the Town decides to implement that option), as well as access to and from the tables and into/out of the restaurant for service and use of restrooms. 
  4. Restrooms shall be available to patrons as otherwise required. 
  5. The establishment shall be consistent with the State’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces and the Sector-Specific Safety Standards: Restaurants.
  6. Considerations and Code Requirements Regarding Tents:
    1. Only battery operated candles may be used on outdoor dining tables and no open flames of any type will be allowed under tents. 
    2. Temporary structures (tents) only allowed for 180 days max per Mass State Building Code 780 CMR Ch 31. 3103.1.
    3. Tent flame resistance certificate is required to be submitted with the application.
    4. Cooking prohibited under tent.
    5. Barricades to protect the tent from vehicles and nearby roadway (Rt. 125 for instance) should be shown - barricade location including location and size of openings for egress should be noted.
    6. Tent’s occupant load (number of people it can accommodate).
    7. Exit signs and lighting.
    8. Lighting, cords run from the building?  Temporary generator power may need a permit from the Fire Department for storage and use of fuel.
    9. Fire Department access to building must be maintained, at least three sides preferred.
    10. Fire Department access to installed fire protection features.  FD connection for sprinkler system, hydrants cannot be blocked.
    11. Temporary heat: if the situation extends into cooler Fall months may need permit from FD for storage and use of fuel.  Temporary heat would require CO detection.

Use of Public Space 

  1. All establishments must execute a license with the Town for the use of any public property prior to beginning operation. This license will be provided upon approval of your application.

Furniture & Equipment 

  1. Furniture and perimeter fencing must be made of sturdy materials. Hard and raised barriers are preferred.
  2. All tables, chairs, umbrellas, or other furniture must be safely secured in a vandal proof manner or must be brought inside every night. 
  3. Tents may be subject to additional standards as reviewed by the Inspector of Buildings and Fire Prevention Office. 

Maintenance & Cleanliness 

  1. All tables and chairs, sidewalks, and surrounding areas must be maintained in a clean and safe manner that meets the State’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces and the Sector-Specific Safety Standards: Restaurants.
  2. The sidewalk in front of the restaurant must be swept daily and kept free of trash. Trash barrels are permitted under this temporary order only; but should be removed from the public space daily. 


  1. No food preparation shall be done in the outdoor dining area. 
  2. Outdoor dining shall end no later than November 1, 2020. 
  3. All establishments will be monitored by appropriate Town departments and agencies to ensure they comply with the provisions of this policy. 
  4. Outdoor dining and retailer permits may be revoked by any appropriate Town department for failure to comply with the provisions of this policy, or if the outdoor dining area becomes dangerous, unsafe, or inaccessible to handicapped persons, or any other breach of the permit conditions or non-compliance with city and state laws/regulations, at any time. 


Dining must be accessible and meet ADA and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s regulations. https://www.mass.gov/law-library/521-cmr 


  • 17.2 SEATING At least 5% but not less than one, of the tables shall be accessible, be on an accessible route, and in compliance with the following: 
  • 17.2.2 A 36-inch (36" = 914mm) access aisle shall be provided between all accessible tables. No seating shall overlap the access aisle. See Fig. 17a. 
  • 17.2.3 Clear floor space as defined in 521 CMR 5.00: DEFINITIONS shall be provided at each seating space. Such clear floor space shall not overlap knee space by more than 19 inches (19" = 483mm). See Fig. 17a. 
  • 17.2.4 Knee Clearances: If seating for people in wheelchairs is provided at tables or counters, knee spaces at least 27 inches (27" = 686mm) high, 30 inches (30" = 762mm) wide, and 19 inches (19" = 483mm) deep shall be provided. See Fig. 17b. 
  • 17.2.5 Height of Tables or Counters: The tops of accessible tables and counters shall be from 28 inches to 34 inches (28" to 34" = 711mm to 864mm) above the finish floor or ground. See Fig 17b.

Figure 17AFigure 17B