Do I need a permit for a tent?


Tents and membrane structures having an area in excess of 400 square feet shall not be erected, operated or maintained for any purpose without first obtaining a permit.

There are some exceptions to this requirement including a tent that is no bigger than 700 square feet and is open on all sides. This size and type of tent or multiple tents with at least a 12 foot fire break separation area do not require a permit.

If your tent falls into the above categories of requiring a permit, to expedite the permit review process, please include the following information:

  1.  A site plan showing the proposed location of the tent and distances to property lines, other tents on the property and other structures on the property.
  2. If your tent will have tables and chairs, include a proposed layout of the tables and chairs and identify location and dimensions of aisles.
  3. If your tent will have sides, identify the location of exit signs and emergency lighting.
  4. A certificate executed by an approved testing laboratory certifying that the tents (and membrane structures) and their appurtenances: sidewalls, drops and tarpaulins, floor coverings, bunting and combustible decorative material and effects, including sawdust where used on floors or passageways, are composed of material meeting the flame criteria as required by NFPA 701. Documentation of compliance shall be submitted at the time of permit application.

Tents shall not be used or occupied until final approval from the Lee/Lenox Building Inspections Department.  Inspection requests should be made several days in advance of the date of installation to allow for scheduling of the inspection.

To apply for a tent permit, please go to the BERKSHIRE ONLINE PERMITTING PROGRAM.  If you need help with this process or if you have further questions, contact the Building Safety Department at (413) 243-5518.