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Application for Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Under Phase One of Reopening the District

Friday, June 5, 2020


DCRA will accept a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) application for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) to allow for the potential use of additional rooms or square footage to accommodate social distancing best practices. Expansions within the existing center, with no change proposed to the number and ages of children and staff currently allowed under the existing C of O, will be reviewed as a TCO if the applicant submits the following information:

  1. A completed C of O application with the “temporary” box checked. Please view the Certificate of Occupancy Application and Review Process to find the form and more information about the C of O application process.
  2. A layout with measurements of the proposed additional room(s)/area(s).
  3. Installation details describing how the material will be used to separate the spaces.

The material to separate the room shall be anchored from the underside of the ceiling structure, and suspended without interfering with sprinkler coverage, fire alarm coverage, and the means of egress. It should provide a maximum height of 6 feet from the finished floor to the top of the material. The material must either (a) have a flame-retardant rating or (b) be a Class A material with a minimum flame–spread rating of 0-25 and a smoke development rating of 0-450. For example, cement board has a flame spread of 0 while red oak has a flame spread of 100. Cloth partitions are not permitted for this application.

A Building Permit is not required unless permanent construction, defined as physically attaching to existing walls (or building new walls), is being performed. Temporary movable suspended dividers of 6 feet in height, that will be used for the purpose of creating the required separation mandated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), will not require a Building Permit. Installation of partitions intended to remain in place for more than 6 months, taller than 6 feet, attached to a wall, or otherwise permanently affixed will require a Building Permit.


  1. An inspection may be required as determined by DCRA.
  2. The proposed additional space must comply with the 2013 DCMR 12 requirements for a childcare facility in order to be approved for occupancy.
  3. The standard change in use process and requirements will not apply unless a permanent C of O is applied for.
  4. Revised fire evacuation plans and a DCRA fire safety inspection will not be requested at the time of application submission but will be required to finalize the TCO application for spaces that have been approved for expansion.
  5. The TCO will be valid for one year from the date of issuance.

For questions, please contact Hillary Seybold via phone at 202.491.1979 or email at hillary.seybold@dc.gov.