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Temporary Permits to Assist Businesses
Temporary Emergency Ordinances

As health concerns related to the coronavirus continue to impact businesses, the Town of Vienna is working to help businesses expand outdoor space for commercial activity so that they may serve customers as permitted and encouraged in the Forward Virginia reopening plan.  

These emergency ordinances, adopted by Town Council, give the Town Manager authority to issue temporary permits to businesses and institutions, providing an expedited and streamlined process with limited administrative burden.
 These temporary permits allow:

  • outdoor commercial activity
  • institutional outdoor operations
  • child day care businesses in commercial zones

Click here to apply for temporary permits. All permit applications will be submitted through the Town's IDT software.

If you already have a temporary permit and would like to revise it to prepare for the winter months, follow the steps in this guide. 

Permit details
Outdoor Commercial Activity (Link)
To assist business owners who have been negatively impacted by various restrictions related to the novel coronavirus, Town Council approved an extension of the emergency ordinance to permit outdoor business operations to March 31, 2021, unless extended, amended, rescinded, or readopted by Town Council. This includes outdoor dining and any other outdoor commercial activity. 

Institutional Outdoor Operations (Link)
As public, semi-public, and private institutions have been impacted by the novel coronavirus due to varied restrictions, Town Council approved an emergency ordinance to permit outdoor operations under certain conditions covered by the governor’s most recent executive orders and other state- and local-mandated health and fire marshal precautions. The emergency ordinance is valid until January 31, 2021, unless extended, amended, rescinded, or readopted by Town Council. 

Commercial Child Day Care (Link)
The Town of Vienna Code currently only allows “family day homes” and child day care centers under a Home Occupation Permit for seven or fewer children or as a  Conditional Use Permit for more than seven children in RS-16 Single-Family Residential, RS-12.5 Single-Family Residential, RS-10 Single-Family Residential, and RM-2 Multi-Family Residential zones. Town Code does not allow day care centers to be located in the Town’s commercial and industrial, zoning districts and may impose restrictions in other zones.

The emergency ordinance is valid only for establishments located in commercial and industrial zoning districts that already are approved to operate by right and for other public, semi-public, and private institutions in other zones. It gives the Town Manager authority to issue temporary emergency commercial child day care use permits to existing Town of Vienna businesses in commercially zoned districts. Permitted businesses must have:
  • a current and valid Town of Vienna business license
  • a child day care (CDC) license from the Virginia Department of social services
  • a diagram showing the onsite location of available parking and pick-up/drop-off locations.

Provisions of the emergency ordinance shall remain in full force and effect until January 31, 2021, unless extended, amended, rescinded, or readopted by Town Council.

Things to keep in mind when applying for temporary permits
To obtain a temporary permitvisit For more details, check out this guide.

  • It’s important to note that you’ll be asked to upload a diagram of the proposed outdoor activity with your temporary permit application. If you need assistance with creating a diagram or have any additional questions, please send a request to
  • Restaurants are required by law to have a separate license to serve alcohol outdoors. Virginia ABC has provided an accelerated process for approving licenses for temporary outdoor dining areas. For more details on Virginia ABC’s expanded services, click here.
  • The Town of Vienna does not need to provide a permit or letter for restaurants, as required by Virginia ABC's approval process, because Fairfax County is expected to pass an emergency ordinance that covers this requirement. 
  • If you plan to use a tent that is larger than 900 square feet, you must apply for a Temporary Tent Permit through the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s Office. Guidance on submitting an application for a tent permit can be found here. 
  • The Office of the Fire Marshal has posted guidance for the use of tents for outdoor dining or fitness activities during cold weather. Guidance can be found here.  

Here is additional guidance from the Fire Marshal’s office related to:

County contact information

Fairfax County Health Department

Fairfax County Fire Marshal