Code of the District of Columbia

Part B. Rental of Public Space on or Above Surface of Ground.


§ 10–1102.01. Regulations authorized; conditions.

The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized to provide by regulation for the rental of portions of public space on or above the surface of the pavement or the ground, as the case may be, and not actually required for the use of the general public, for such period of time as the said space may not be so required or for any lesser period; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as requiring the Council to require the payment of rent as a condition to the use of public space: (1) in accordance with the provisions of regulations promulgated under the authority of § 6-404; (2) by a public utility company for the installation and maintenance of any of its equipment or facilities, under permit issued by the District; or (3) for the sale of newspapers of general circulation; provided further, that the proposed rental of public space within the area of the District of Columbia subject to the provisions of §§ 6-611.01 and 6-611.02, if the proposed rental of public space entails the erection or alteration of the exterior of a building, shall be submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts in accordance with the provisions of §§ 6-611.01 and 6-611.02. The regulations adopted by the Council of the District of Columbia shall provide that public space rented under the authority of this part shall be rented only to the owner of property fronting and abutting such public space; that any person using such space shall not acquire any right, title, or interest therein; that both the United States and the District of Columbia, and the officers and employees of each of them, shall be held harmless for any loss or damage arising out of the use of such space, or the discontinuance of any such use; that the Mayor may require such space to be vacated upon demand by him and its use discontinued, with or without notice, and with no recourse against either the United States or the District for any loss or damage occasioned by any such requirement; and that if any such use be not discontinued by the time specified by the Mayor, the said Mayor may remove from such space any property left thereon or therein by any person using such space under the authority of this part, at the risk and expense of the owner of the real property abutting such space.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1156, Pub. L. 90-596, title II, § 201; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 6(a), 61 DCR 12690.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1004.

1973 Ed., § 7-905.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-1102.01a.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-207 substituted “subject to the provisions of §§ 6-611.01 and 6-611.02, if the proposed rental of public space entails the erection or alteration of the exterior of a building” for “subject to the provisions of §§ 6-611.01 and 6-611.02” near the end of the first sentence; and, in the second sentence, substituted “person using such space” for “owner of the real property abutting such space” and substituted the second occurrence of “Mayor” for “him.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Street Festival One Day Permit Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-129, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6646).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of the Sub-Surface Space Rental Rate Resolution (Res. No. 69-71), see § 6012 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of the Sub-Surface Space Rental Rate Resolution (Res. No. 69-71), see § 6012 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of the Sub-Surface Space Rental Rate Resolution (Res. No. 69-71), see § 6012 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).

Short Title

Short title: Section 6011 of D.C. Law 16-192 provided that subtitle B of title VI of the act may be cited as the “Public Space Rental Fees Amendment Act of 2006”.

Editor's Notes

Section 6012 of D.C. Law 16-192 provided: “The Sub-Surface Space Rental Rate Resolution of the District of Columbia City Council, effective September 16, 1969 (Res. No. 69-71; 16 DCR 72), is repealed.”

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-207: Section 12(a) of D.C. Law 20-207 provided that §§ 2(a), 2(b)(1), 2(b)(2)(A), 2(b)(2)(B), 2(b)(2)(C), 2(c), 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 shall apply as of March 11, 2015.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1102.01a. Street festival one-day public space rental.

(a) To participate in a street festival, the lessee of a building that fronts and abuts the closed street may rent, pursuant to § 10-1102.01, the public space immediately fronting and abutting the building which the lessee occupies. This rental of public space shall be subject to the following conditions:

(1) No holder of a license issued pursuant to § 25-104, shall rent public space pursuant to this subsection, except the holder of a retailer’s license, Class C or a retailer’s license, Class D as defined in subchapter II of Chapter 1 of Title 25. The provisions of this subsection shall not alter the terms and conditions of these licenses in any other way.

(2) Only a lessee who occupies the entire street level of the building, or, where there is no street level, a lessee who occupies either the entire floor immediately above street level or the entire floor immediately below street level may rent the sidewalk in accordance with this subsection.

(3) The rental period pursuant to this section shall begin with the closing of the street in preparation for the street festival and shall end with the reopening of the street, or for 24 hours, whichever is shorter.

(4) Public space rented pursuant to this subsection shall:

(A) Not include any area within the street; and

(B) Be subject to all conditions of § 10-1102.01, except the submission of the proposed rental to the Commission on Fine Arts.

(b) The rent for the use of public space as provided for in subsection (a) of this section shall be $1.00 per square foot for the duration of the rental period, except the rent by the holder of a retailer’s license, Class C or a retailer’s license, Class D as defined in subchapter II of Chapter 1 of Title 25, shall be $2.00 per square foot for the duration of the rental period. Rent shall be paid in advance to the Metropolitan Police Department for the payment of costs associated with the closing of the street for the street festival.

(c) Business associations shall be allowed to obtain permits on behalf of multiple festival permit participants.

(d) For the purposes of this section “street festival” means any event for which a temporary street closing permit has been issued and which meets the following conditions:

(1) The licensee to whom the street closing permit was issued is a nonprofit organization;

(2) The street closed is zoned for primarily retail use; and

(3) The festival uses the street closed primarily to rent to retail vendors.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1156, Pub. L. 90-596, title II, § 201a; as added Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-258, § 2, 48 DCR 767.)


§ 10–1102.02. Payments; refunds.

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia shall by regulation provide for the payment of rent for the use of public space as authorized by this part. The annual rent for such space shall be a fair and equitable amount fixed by the Council from time to time in accordance with regulations adopted by it, generally establishing categories of use and providing that the rent for each category of use shall bear a reasonable relationship to the assessed value of the privately owned land abutting such space, depending on the nature of the category of use and the extent to which the public space may be utilized for such purpose, but in no event shall the annual rent for the public space so utilized be at a rate of less than 4 per centum per annum of the current assessed value of an equivalent area of the privately owned space immediately abutting the public space so utilized; provided, that the annual rent for public space used as an unenclosed sidewalk cafe shall be $5 per square foot and the annual rent for public space used as an enclosed sidewalk cafe shall be $10 per square foot. Unenclosed flower and fruit stands shall be charged the same rate as unenclosed sidewalk cafes, and enclosed flower and fruit stands shall be charged the same rate as enclosed sidewalk cafes. Such rent shall be payable in advance for such periods as may be fixed by the Council. In the event the Mayor requires any person using public space under the authority of this part to vacate all or part of any space for which rent has been paid, the Mayor is authorized to refund so much of such prepaid rent as may be represented by the amount of space so vacated and by the length of time remaining in the period for which rent was paid.

(b) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the District shall not charge a fee to an organization for occupying public space to operate a farmers market; provided, that it participates in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1158, Pub. L. 90-596, title II, § 202; Sept. 17, 1982, D.C. Law 4-148, § 5, 29 DCR 3361; Sept. 10, 1992, D.C. Law 9-145,§ 101(a), 39 DCR 4895; Aug. 6, 1993, D.C. Law 10-11, § 117, 40 DCR 4007; Sept. 30, 1993, D.C. Law 10-25, § 117, 40 DCR 5489; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(b), 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7028(1), 62 DCR 10905.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1005.

1973 Ed., § 7-906.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added (b).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 rewrote (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 117 of the Omnibus Budget Support Emergency Act of 1993 (D.C. Act 10-32, June 3, 1993, 40 DCR 3658).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of the Street Festival One Day Permit Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-129, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6646).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(a) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§  6002(b) and 6003(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(b)(2), see § 2(i)( 1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6002(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(i)( 1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7016(g)(1) and (y)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 117 of Omnibus Budget Support Temporary Act of 1993 (D.C. Law 10-11, August 6, 1993, law notification 40 DCR 6213).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 501(b)(1) of Omnibus Budget Support Temporary Act of 1992 (D.C. Law 9-134, July 23, 1992, law notification 39 DCR 5815).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(h)( 1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-179, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 424).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7048(a) of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that § 7028 of the act shall apply as of July 1, 2015.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1102.02a. Fee waiver.

The first $83,000 of annual rent for use of public space, established pursuant to § 10-1102.02, shall be waived for the use of land between Lot 16, Square 3832 and Lot 47, Square 3831.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1158, Pub. L. 90-596, title II, § 202a; as added Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6152, 62 DCR 10905.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 7016(g)(2) and (y)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).


§ 10–1102.03. Use of property subject to the requirements of § 9-113.04.

The Mayor is authorized, with respect to property subject to the requirements of § 9-113.04 [repealed], to allow the same use to be made of such property as, under the authority of this part, he allows to be made of the public space abutting such property. Any such use of such property shall be subject to the same conditions as are applicable to the use of the abutting public space, with the exception of the payment of rent.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1158, Pub. L. 90-596, title II, § 203.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1006.

1973 Ed., § 7-907.

References in Text

Section 9-113.04, referred to in the first sentence was repealed, effective March 10, 1983, by D.C. Law 4-201, § 713. For present provisions regarding the naming of public places, see subchapter IV of Chapter 2 of Title 9.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.