OUTDOOR DISPLAY REGULATIONS

  • You must be part of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and thereby a current member of Walnut Creek Downtown (WCD).
  • Outdoor merchandise displays as accessory uses to lawfully establish commercial businesses are subject to the General Standards for Outdoor Merchandise Displays.
  • The type of merchandise for sale that is displayed in an outdoor merchandise display shall be limited to the type of merchandise sold by the business at the site.
  • An outdoor merchandise display must be located directly adjacent to the business to which it is an accessory use.      
  • Each business is allowed use of either an outdoor merchandise display or one A-frame type sign. The business may not have both at the same time.
  • Outdoor merchandise displays located in the public right of way shall first require issuance of an encroachment permit by the Public Service Department - Engineering Division. To apply for an encroachment permit, please contact the Engineer on duty at 925-5829, or visit City Hall, 2nd Floor, the Development Center.
  • All displays shall allow a minimum 48 inch unobstructed path of travel from the exterior border of the merchandise display to the interior edge of the curb of the adjacent street, or to any curb, ramp, or crosswalk, or to any fixed obstruction (i.e. streetlight pole, street tree, planting area, planter pot, parking meter, newspaper rack, mail box, etc.) at all times. Outdoor merchandise display areas shall not obstruct access to parking areas or driveways, or encroach on landscape areas including lawn areas. The owner of the business shall be responsible for compliance with the California Building Code with regards to accessibility and egress.
  • Outdoor merchandise display fixtures shall be compatible with the character of the adjacent buildings and area. Merchandise displays utilizing card tables, cardboard cartons, plastic milk crates, plywood boxes or pallets are not permitted. Freestanding mannequins and dress-forms, in good condition, are permitted.
  • Outdoor merchandise display fixtures shall be of good quality, durable materials and construction, and shall be maintained in such a manner as to enhance the downtown area. Outdoor merchandise displays shall be organized and maintained in an orderly and attractive manner at all times.
  • Outdoor merchandise display fixtures may not be bolted into the ground or sidewalk or fastened to streetlights, trees or other street furniture. All merchandise and merchandise display fixtures must be removed during non-business hours unless located on private property.
  • Outdoor merchandise displays shall be limited to a width of 25% of the business frontage or 10 (ten) linear feet, whichever is less. Outdoor merchandise displays shall be a maximum of 4 (four) linear feet deep or wide, but only if such display also remains in compliance with all accessibility standards set for in Item “L” below. Stores with multiple frontages shall not combine their allotment of space to create a large space for displays than normally allowed.
  • Outdoor merchandise displays, including the merchandise displayed on them, shall be limited to 6 feet tall – this means the displays shall be located in the area between the ground or sidewalk and 6 feet above it.
  • Outdoor merchandise displays shall not serve as extra storage space for materials that do not fit inside the store. Other than fresh flowers and fresh produce, displays of bulk materials (e.g. dog food, water softener salt, potting soil, shoes, etc. are prohibited).
  • No sound amplification device, musical instrument or sound reproduction device shall be operated or used in conjunction with outdoor merchandise displays.
  • Any outdoor lighting associated with outdoor merchandise displays shall be approved by the Community Development Director.
  • Outdoor merchandise displays not meeting these standards shall be removed upon notification from the Community Development Director, or her designee.
  • If the Community Development Director makes a determination that a business is violating the provisions of these standards, the Director will provide notice to Walnut Creek Downtown and business that there is a violation. The business owner may choose to modify the outdoor display to meet these General Standards, or shall remove the display entirely. There is no appeal process for a Seasonal Activity Permit, which may be revoked at any time for violation of the conditions under which it is issued for the remainder of the SAP period.

If you have any questions, please contact Walnut Creek Downtown at 925-933-6778

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