Project Requirements:
Sidewalk Cafés Allowable Work Without A Registered Design Professional


Permits are tied to the project scope of work and work type, and the permits are regulated according to the nature of the work, licensing, and registration requirements for the work being performed.  There are several aspects of Sidewalk Café work, including but not limited to piping, fuel-burning equipment, ductwork, air-conditioning equipment, electric wiring, and the repair or replacement of interior/exterior finishes, which can only be performed by Contractors with specialized trade licenses to perform such required work.  Work permits are issued to these specialized trade license holders.

Master Plumber

The work outlined can only be performed by a Licensed Master Plumber.  However, if the project exceeds the work allowed under the categories of limited plumbing alteration work listed below, a Registered Design Professional must submit construction plans for approval by the Department to obtain a work permit.

Limited Plumbing Alteration
Administrative Code §28-101.5 provides the definition of Limited Plumbing Alteration, to specify repair to a gas boiler system that is limited in scope under two (2) categories:

Category 1
Has cost and time period limitation - $35,000 cost limitation per building including appliance and labor in any 12 month period – only the following can be done:
  1. Addition of Plumbing Fixtures or Connections. Add five or less fixtures within any 12-month period.

  2. New Piping. Installation of new plumbing or fuel gas piping. (not including Category 2 work).

  3. New Sprinkler Heads. Installation of up to five new heads, only off an existing domestic water system within any 12-month period.

  4. Rearrange Sprinkler Heads.  Rearrange not more than 20 sprinkler heads, only off an existing domestic water system and only in areas classified in light or ordinary hazard occupancies, such as residences, restaurant service areas, or mercantile areas.


Category 2
Has no cost or time period limitation but only the following can be done:

  1. Piping. Reroute existing plumbing or fuel gas branch piping to serve the same number of existing fixtures and appliances.

  2. Replace Fixtures. In-kind replacement of plumbing fixtures and gas appliances, and which exceeds a minor alteration/repair or ordinary plumbing work.

  3. Relocate Existing Fixtures. Relocation and mounting of new fixtures on existing roughing, and which exceeds a minor alteration/repair or ordinary plumbing work.

  4. Gas Burners. Replace gas burners [2.8 million Btu/h (821 kW) or less]

  5. Sprinkler Heads.  Replace up to thirty existing sprinkler heads provided such heads’ orifice size, type and deflector remain the same, and only off a domestic water system.


Licensed Electrician

A new installation, alteration, or repair of electric wires, wiring apparatuses and appliances or equipment shall be performed by a New York City licensed electrical contractor. All electrical work such as, but not limited to, installing conduits, wires, lighting fixtures and switches, panelboards, controls, etc., require an electrical permit before commencing such electrical work.

The Electrical Contractor shall coordinate with the Registered Design Professional (RDP), other members of the design team, and all other construction trade contractors where projects have other aspects to the work in addition to electrical.  For such projects, the Department only requires the submission of a separate electrical permit application.  When an electrical permit application by the Licensed Electrical Contractor includes a large electrical installation (see classifications of large installations under Electrical Advisory Board plan examination listed below), or requires Energy Conservation Code (ECC) compliance, such an electrical permit application must reference the general project application number for permit issuance.

Electrical construction documents are not required to be submitted by a Registered Design Professional to the Department as part of the electrical or general permit application, except electrical construction documents must be submitted to the Department to obtain an electrical permit as follows:

  • Electrical Advisory Board plan examination. Submitted by either a Registered Design Professional or a Licensed Electrician
    • Electrical Equipment with a capacity of 1000 KVA or larger.
    • Electrical installation that utilizes 1000 Volt or higher.
    • Electrical Service Installations with 1000 KVA totaling.
  • Energy Conservation Code compliance. Submitted by a Licensed Electrician
    • Lighting Power Density to demonstrate energy code compliance (small jobs using a simple calculation). Please note this is in addition to other construction document submittal requirements required for ECC Plan Examination; please refer to ECC Sections C406.3 and Table C405.5.2(2) for these requirements.
  • Fire Department Requirements.  Construction documents, prepared by a Registered Design Professional, shall be part of the project submittal for new installations or alterations of an existing fire alarm system. Review shall be performed by an FDNY Plan Examiner.

Additional Requirements for Registrant


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