Modified Planning Operations During COVID-19

Updated November 19, 2020

An Important Message Regarding Use of Portable Heaters Within Outdoor Dining Areas

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision on November 16, 2020, to move Orange County back into the Purple Tier (the State's most restrictive reopening tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy) as a result of the surge in new COVID-19 infections statewide, restaurants now are only permitted to host diners outdoors. As we enter the cooler late-fall and winter months, portable heaters within outdoor dining spaces, including covered patios, canopies, and tents composed of combustible fabric or other materials, are a necessity. In order to reduce potential fire hazards and ensure public safety, Orange County Fire Marshalls recently ruled that infrared (electric) outdoor heaters only may be used beneath or within covered outdoor or tented dining areas. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) type outdoor heaters are not permitted under covered outdoor dining areas based on California State Fire Marshall (SFM) Guidelines and California Fire Code (CFC) requirements. The City of Yorba Linda’s fire agency, Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) has prepared this Guidance Sheet for the safe use of portable heaters. Please review and follow this guidance information before placing portable heaters within any covered outdoor space.

The foregoing requirements should be incorporated into and reflected on the provided documentation for Temporary Use Permit (TUP) applications for temporary outdoor dining (review the following Temporary Outdoor Business Expansion section for TUP procedure for outdoor dining).

Temporary Outdoor BUSINESS Expansion

Under normal (non-pandemic) conditions, the Zoning Code requires provision of additional parking to support outdoor dining and/or outdoor retail business operations as well as discretionary permitting.  Meeting these requirements takes time and expense to complete. In light of Governor Gavin Newsom’s amended stay-at-home order of July 13, 2020, additional business sectors have been ordered to cease indoor operations (e.g., restaurants, gyms, houses of worship, hair salons, indoor malls, etc.).  Many of the affected businesses may be able to move their business operations outdoors into adjacent open areas, parking lots or the public right-of way in order to continue to operate.  Given the urgent need for businesses to continue to operate, the City has waived the normal approval requirements for outdoor operations on a temporary basis. 

Instead, the City will utilize the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) provisions in the Zoning Code to streamline approval of expanded outdoor business operations requests.  The TUP application process is a free, one-page application that requires a basic level of information explaining the time, place and manner characteristics of the proposed outdoor business/outdoor dining use. TUP applications are administered through the City’s Community Preservation Division and typically can be turned around in 1 or 2 days. Although business owners will be encouraged to expand their outdoor operations footprint on private property, there will be allowance for consideration of use of public rights-of-way when a private property solution is unavailable. Proposals to use public rights-of-way will require an additional approval of a temporary encroachment permit from the City’s Engineering/Public Works Department

Submittal Requirements: 

  1. Fill out a TUP Application
  2. Detailed site plan(informal is okay – not necessary to have professionally prepared) – The site plan is intended to illustrate the area of proposed outdoor dining.  The plan should include, at minimum, the following items: 
    1. The overall boundaries of the property or site (please indicate property line locations). An aerial photograph can be used for this.
    2. The area where the proposed outdoor business operations/outdoor dining will occur. Please include any existing area and area(s) of where outdoor dining or outdoor business operations are occurring.
    3. Please detail the proposed layout for outdoor business operations. Include the tables and chairs within outdoor dining areas and indicate a minimum separation of 6-feet between individual dining tables/chairs and adjacent dining tables/chairs.
    4. Please dimension walking paths-of-travel on the site plan to ensure 4’ wide (minimum) clear passage for handicapped accessibility. 
    5. Detail the location and type of physical barrier that will be employed to cordon off/delineate the outdoor business/ outdoor dining area as separate from vehicular travel ways. Please verify with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for information regarding required minimum barrier standards for alcoholic beverage service within the outdoor dining areas, and any licensure modifications that may be required. They may be reached at or at 657-205-3533.
    6.  If you intend to utilize any portion of the public right-of-way (e.g., public sidewalk or street/parking stalls) for the proposed outdoor business/outdoor dining area, please show the area in question on the site plan. If location is within the public right-of-way, please contact the City’s Public Works/Engineering Department for additional permitting requirements.  They can be reached at 714-961-7170.

3) Other – The City will review each application to determine additional items that may be needed to process your application. 

4) Submit Application to Community Preservation Division – TUP applications may be submitted to the City through the Community Preservation Division, either electronically in in person by appointment.  Please contact the Community Preservation Division Hotline at 714-961-7138 to obtain further information for electronic submittal or to schedule an appointment with a Community Preservation Officer for direct submittal.

land use entitlement projects

The Planning Division will be accepting new land use entitlement project submittals and re-submittals at City Hall Monday through Thursday during normal business hours by appointment only. Please coordinate directly with a Planner to set appointment times and discuss paper-based transaction protocol. You may contact the Planning Division to initiate the process at 714-961-7130.

Planning Projects and General zoning information

For planning projects that already are in process, Planners assigned to cases are available through email and/or by telephone by calling the Planning Division at 714-961-7130. Calls will be answered by the Division’s Administrative Secretary who will direct you to the appropriate planner. General zoning information may also be obtained by calling the Planning Division at the above telephone number. If you are planning a new project or business and have need to meet with a planner directly, you may schedule an appointment during normal business hours, Monday through Thursday. Meetings can be conducted either in person at City Hall, or electronically via Zoom or other electronic meeting platforms. Please work with a planning staff member to schedule meetings.


For new and existing planning application submittals and/or deposit account replenishments, fees may be made by personal or corporate check or by credit card. Payments greater than $10,000 will need to submitted by check.

  • If paying by check, please coordinate with your Planner to determine the total fee amount and submit along with your application submittal package, or you may send your check payment by US or overnight mail to 4845 Casa Loma Avenue, Yorba Linda CA 92886, Attention: Planning Division.
  • If paying by credit card, staff will direct you on payment instructions via the City’s Payment Portal. You will have to insert your project case number (e.g., CUP 2020-XX) as the “Reference Number” in the appropriate field. You will then receive a payment confirmation from the Payment Portal system, which may be forwarded to your Planner to confirm the payment of fees.


If you have any questions regarding Modified Planning Operations during COVID-19, please call the City of Yorba Linda Planning Division at 714-961-7130.