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Temporary Activity Permit (TAP)


In response to Virginia Governor Northam’s Executive Order 61 allowing for temporary outdoor seating, the County has created an expedited process for issuing Temporary Activity Permits (TAP) for outdoor seating.   Find the outdoor seating printable application here, the guidelines and sample template here and online County Mapper sketch tool here

*COVID-19 change in zoning approval application process

*There is now a Zoning Counter window open to accept zoning approval applications from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Updated: September 21, 2020

Updates to Zoning Application Processes Now in Effect

  • In immediate effect, all homeowners, industry, developers, contractors, and permit runners with zoning submissions are asked to submit applications as follows:
    • Industry/Developers/Contractors and Permit Runners: A new option only for industry/developers/contractors and permit runners:
      • The Zoning Branch is now accepting ALL TYPES of zoning applications electronically via beginning September 21, 2020. All submissions must be in PDF format.
    • Residential: For residential homeowners, we continue to accept zoning applications:
      • in person at the zoning counter window;
      • via drop-off inside the Development Services Building at the Early Assistance Desk, or;
      • by US Mail or courier service to: Prince William County, ATTN: Zoning Counters, 5 County Complex Court, Suite 180, Prince William, VA 22192.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. We are working to expand electronic services to all customers. Until that is possible, we are monitoring commercial workloads to ensure we have the capacity to increase services to residents without generating a backlog and poor customer service.

For information and assistance please contact George Harben at 703-792-6830 or

What is a TAP?
A Temporary Activity Permit (TAP) is used for an activity or event that runs for a specific period of time and does not constitute a permanent use to be approved on a site plan. Temporary activities may be permitted in any zoning district. A Temporary Activity Permit for any such event is required and may be issued when the event will not impair the purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance and when the use is not so recurring in nature as to constitute a permanent use.
When is a TAP Required?
Temporary activities are only permitted in accordance with Sec. 32-210 of the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance. Temporary uses and activities, and activities of similar nature, may be administratively approved in any zoning district by the Zoning Administrator through issuance of a temporary activity permit. Please view the TAP Brochure for specific events requiring approval.
The following are examples of temporary uses are allowed with a permit:
  1. Roadside stands for sales of seasonal goods;
  2. Carnivals, circuses, craft fairs, concerts (outdoor), flea markets and car shows;
  3. Outdoor meetings, tent revivals, business events, organization picnics;
  4. Professional golf tournaments, horse shows, and similar activities;
  5. On-premise promotional sales events at permanent retail stores;
  6. Food truck events with over 4 trucks (see Mobile Food Vendor Policy).


How Much Does It Cost to Obtain a Permit?
Please see the Fee Schedule for current Temporary Activity Permit (TAP) permit fee.


Minimum Application Submission Requirements
The following items must be submitted to the Land Development Division for review at least 4 weeks prior to the temporary activity date:

  1. The Temporary Activity Permit Application with section related to the applicant fully completed.
  2. Notarized authorization from the property owner or agent stating the type of activity authorized and the dates of the activity, including availability of restrooms.
  3. If restroom facilities are not available on-site, submit notarized authorization from the adjacent property owners allowing employees and patrons to use restroom facilities, or a contract from a company providing portable sanitary facilities.
  4. For commercial sites, provide a copy of the approved site plan, survey plat or detailed (to scale) sketch of the site showing location of the proposed activity (must be at least 20 feet from all abutting streets), and the required number of off-street parking spaces allocated for the activity (parking must be at least 10 feet from all streets).
  5. For residential sites, provide a house location survey plat showing the location of the proposed activity, and location of the off-street parking spaces allocated for the activity.
  6. Non-profit organizations must submit a copy of tax exempt status [i.e. copy of tax exempt certificate] to demonstrate bona fide nonprofit or not for profit status.
  7. Processing fee in cash, check (made payable to PWC), or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) in accordance with the current Fee Schedule.
  8. If a sign is proposed, submit a Temporary Sign Permit Application.


How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Permit?

TAP meetings are scheduled once the Land Development Division has received a completed application packet and associated application fee. The extent of the event and depth of agency review required (Development Services, Health, VDOT, Fire, Police), will impact the time needed to process the TAP application.


Roadside Stands for Sales of Seasonal Goods:

  1. Prior to submission of the application package to the Zoning Counters, applicants will meet with the review agencies listed on the Permit Review Status Sheet (attached to the Temporary Activity Permit Application), and obtain approval from the review agencies.
  2. Applicant will submit all required documents itemized on the checklist to the Zoning Counters at least 30 calendar days prior to the temporary activity date.
  3. Zoning staff reviews the request, and approves or denies the application within 14 calendar days from the submission date, and notifies the applicant.
  4. The applicant must come to the Zoning Counters in person to sign approved permit.


For Additional Information:







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