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Tent Construction & Operation Permits

Tent/Stage Canopy/Membrane Structure Permits

Download Application:
Tent, Stage Canopy and Temporary Membrane Application  

Email the completed application and any required documents to  Note that if this is for a temporary stage canopy, you must also contact the City of New Bern Building Inspections to see what they require.

-Any inspections taking place outside of normal work hours will require an additional $150 fee
-All structures must be taken down if the National Weather Service issues a High Wind Advisory.  Should this occur, permit is automatically revoked. Contact us for re-issuance at no charge once the Advisory has been lifted.

The following require an inspection, but no permit:
-Any tent between 700 – 800 square feet
There is a $75 fee for the inspection which has to be paid before inspection date

The following will require an inspection and permit:
-Any membrane structures larger than 400 square feet
-Any tent larger than 800 square feet that has at least one wall
-Any tent larger than 1800 square feet with no walls

Fees and process for permitting:
-$150 total fee for construction and operations permits, paid before inspection date.

 Additional Information:

  • Tents and Membrane Structures cannot stay up for more than 180 consecutive days within a year’s time.
  • If your Tent or Membrane Structure has an occupancy load of more than 50, you must provide a detailed site and floor plan before the inspection takes place.
  • If you’re using your Tent or Membrane Structure as a place of assembly, there may be more requirements depending on how many people will be occupying it. Contact us if you have any questions.
  • Tents can’t be within 20 feet of the lot line, buildings, other tents or membrane structures, parked vehicles or internal combustion engines.
  • There needs to be an unobstructed 12 foot fire break on all sides of Tent or Membrane Structure.
  • All Tents and Membrane Structures must have fire extinguishers.
  • Temporary Stage Canopies
    • Required Documentation - The following documents must be submitted to the fire code official and the building official for review before a permit is approved:
      • Construction documents.  Construction documents shall include:
        • A summary sheet showing the building code used, design criteria, loads and support reactions.
        • Detailed construction and installation drawings.
        • Design calculations.
        • Operating limits of the structure explicitly outlined by the registered design professional including environmental conditions and physical forces.
        • Effects of additive elements such as video walls, supported scenery, audio equipment, vertical and horizontal coverings
        • Means for adequate stability including specific requirements for guying and cross-bracing, ground anchors or ballast for different ground conditions.
      • Designation of responsible party - The designated person shall have sufficient knowledge of the construction documents, manufacturer's recommendations and operations plan to make judgements regarding the structure's safety and to coordinate with the fire code official.
      • Operations plan - The operations plan shall reflect manufacturer's operational guidelines, procedures for environmental monitoring and actions to be taken under specified conditions consistent with the construction documents.
    • Temporary Stage Canopies cannot be used for more than 45 days
    • If the canopy is over 400 square feet, it needs to be inspected by two different entities:
      • Fire Inspector, inspection fees noted above apply
      • Independent Inspector, at the expense of the owner
  •  If your event is expected to have over 1000 people attending, you must have a crowd management plan approved by New Bern Fire-Rescue

*Fee schedule as of August 2023. Subject to change without prior notice.