Picture of a party tent

March 22, 2021

Dear Tent Permit Applicant:

As you may be aware, the State of Ohio, like many states, have Executive Orders in place regarding the limits on gathering size intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The City of Oxford also has a mass gathering order which prohibits gatherings with more than 10 guests. This ordinance was put in place in August 2020 so that local police department enforcement would be possible if necessary. The full text can be obtained on our Community COVID Updates page.

While our office does not intend to prevent you from obtaining permission for a temporary tent for your event, we do believe it is our duty to inform/remind you that you may want to review the City Ordinance prior to your event. You may also want to keep track of State of Ohio Executive Orders. City staff is unable at this time to predict the exact enforcement of local and state laws regarding your future event.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Sam Perry, AICP 

Contact information

Division of Fire, 513-523-6324

Before you apply

Things you need to know

  • Application review takes one week, generally, so apply for a tent permit as soon as possible. The Division of Fire is required to provide a written statement of either “pre-approval” or “exempt from review” before the application will be accepted for processing through the Community Development Department.
  • The City of Oxford requires a building and zoning permit for temporary tents 200 square feet or larger.
  • Tents cannot cover required parking spaces, access drives and/or driveways.
  • A tent permit is valid for no more than three days from the moment the tent is raised.
  • No more than two tent permits per property are permitted each year.
  • No open flame devices, heaters or cooking devices, parked vehicles, or gas engines are allowed within 20 feet of the tent. At no time can an open flame or straw and other combustible materials be placed under or near a tent.
  • Keep and maintain clear exits and aisle ways inside.
  • We require tents to be placed 20’ from property lines and 12’ from other structures.
  • Residential or commercial tent?
    • Residential are 1-, 2-, and 3-family residences
    • Commercial are fraternity houses, 4-family or more residential structures (apartment buildings), businesses
  • If you want more specific details about requirements, read the full list of tent regulations.


  • Fees will be determined during the review process and you will pay at issuance.
  • We do not accept up-front payments.
  • Use the Requirements and Fees Calculator to estimate fees.

Application process

Step 1: Compile the required documents

TIP: Use the Requirements and Fees Calculator (Microsoft Excel format) to quickly navigate our tent requirements and estimate fees.

  • Apply Online or Print Application
  • Site plan [must show lot lines, building footprint(s), all hard surfaces, location and dimensions of tent(s), and distances from tent(s) to lot lines and buildings]

Step 2: Division of Fire pre-approval

Apply online or take all of your printed materials to the Division of Fire, located at 217 South Elm Street -or- email your files to tentreview@cityofoxford.org. Fire staff will produce a document for you to include with your documentation materials for Step 3. You may have to redo this step if your materials are incomplete.

Step 3: Community Development Department processing

Take your materials and Fire pre-approval document to the Community Development Department, located at 15 South College Avenue, Oxford, OH 45056. You will pay after the application has been approved. Community Development staff will send it to various departments for review, if needed.

Step 4: Fees & pickup

Someone from the Community Development Department will contact you when the permit is approved and ready for pickup and will tell you the total fees due.

We accept cash, check, e-check, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

Step 5: Building Department Inspections

You must request an inspection the day prior to the event if the Building Department requires it. Call (513) 524-5205 during normal business hours to schedule.