Apply for an Alcohol Distance Waiver

Do you want to sell alcoholic beverages in a business near a church or school?

City code prohibits alcohol sales in businesses close to churches or schools. However, you may be eligible for a waiver.

Online

Step 1.Check your eligibility

To be considered for a waiver, your business must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Full-Service Restaurants. These businesses are licensed by the State of Florida and serve alcoholic beverages in connection with a meal during all hours of operation. They may also have a bar where alcoholic beverages are served without food, however, the restaurant must have a permanent kitchen onsite where meals are regularly prepared and and the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages must constitute at least 51 percent of gross revenues.
  • Certain Public Benefit Uses. The primary purpose and design of these facilities is for public use as determined by the Zoning Official.
  • Public-Owned Facilities. These businesses are located within a public-owned facility that's primary purpose is to accommodate people for entertainment or recreation. 
  • Certain Bars in Hotels or Motels. This includes bars with no direct entrance or exit to public streets. The bar must be located in a hotel or motel containing 100 or more guest rooms.
  • Package Sale of Beer and/or Wine. These businesses package sell beer or wine, and may permit on-premise consumption only for the purpose of tasting at no charge to the customer.
  • Cultural Arts Facilities. These not-for-profit theaters present live performances, must contain at least 100 seats and must be zoned AC-3A/T.

Complete requirements are listed in city code.

Step 2.Gather your materials

  • You will need to provide a detailed menu and floor plan (for restaurants only) and rated patron capacity (RPC) of the facility. Click the additional information button at the bottom of the page for complete requirements.
  • A pre-application meeting is not required, however you will need a meeting number (MTG) to complete the form. Contact our staff at cityplanning@orlando.gov to get the number.

Step 3.Fill out the form

Make sure you select “Determination” under the Administrative review section.

Complete the Form

Step 4.We will contact you

Our staff will send an email confirmation to you when we receive your application. Within five business days, we will send you a billing summary once we have processed your application. It will include payment instructions.

Step 5.Make a payment

A $275 user fee established by City Council helps partially off-set the administrative and direct costs of processing an application. The application fee does not in any way ensure an applicant a favorable decision. All applications will be reviewed on the merits of the request alone.

Exception to Distance Requirements

1. Properties OUTSIDE the AC-3A/T zoning district must provide the information below:

  • a. A detailed proposed menu
  • b. A detailed, to-scale floor plan which identifies the following:
    • i. Proposed kitchen, dining, bar, and waiting areas within the restaurant
    • ii. Square footage of each area and the total square footage of the restaurant
    • iii. Seating arrangement and number of seats in the dining and bar areas
    • iv. A “typical” of each table type, showing height, surface area, and seating capacity referenced to its location in the seating arrangement
  • c. Location of the equipment and facilities in the kitchen
  • d. Rated Patron Capacity (RPC) of the facility
  • e. A notarized statement from a qualified restaurant owner/operator, or other qualified food service professional, stating the following:
    • i. His/her qualifications
    • ii. The anticipated percentage of revenues to be derived from food and non‐ alcoholic beverages based upon the anticipated operation of the restaurant facility and the above information
    • iii. Any other material that may provide insight into the total percentage of gross revenues the establishment expects to earn from sales of food and non‐alcoholic beverages

2. Properties zoned AC-3A/T must provide the following information:

  • a. A detailed proposed menu
  • b. A detailed, to-scale floor plan which identifies the following:
    • i. Proposed kitchen, dining, bar, and waiting areas within the restaurant
    • ii. Square footage of each area and the total square footage of the restaurant
    • iii. Seating arrangement and number of seats in the dining and bar areas
    • iv. A “typical” of each table type, showing height, surface area, and seating capacity referenced to its location in the seating arrangement
  • c. Location of the equipment and facilities in the kitchen
  • d. Rated Patron Capacity (RPC) of the facility
  • e. A notarized statement from a qualified restaurant owner/operator, or other qualified food service professional, stating the following:
    • i. His/her qualifications
    • ii. The specific equipment being installed and maintained in the kitchen
    • iii. A statement regarding whether the proposed kitchen meets the requirements of this section