SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The days of dining outside in parking lots and on city sidewalks will continue in San Diego. Businesses within the city of San Diego have a few weeks to make ensure their facilities comply with city standards and regulations if they wish to continue operating outdoors.
The city said it plans to work with businesses that are still adjusting to the economic challenges of the past year. The city offers temporary outdoor business operation permits, which allow for businesses to operate outside.
”I would recommend it and suggest it," said Mr. Moto, the manager of Mr. Moto Pizza. "I like the area all al fresco - I don’t know if you remember that - the main street here was actually closed. I like that. It keeps like a European feel.”
According to the city of San Diego’s Director of Economic Development, the city will start enforcing permit restrictions on Aug. 2. The city inspects temporary-type dining structures, like an outdoor open-air tent.
The San Diego City Council approved the extension of temporary outdoor dining solutions. Without the extension, those permits were set to expire Tuesday, July 13. If businesses play by the rules, which the city is still working to clarify this week, they can keep outdoor operations up on places like sidewalks until July 2022.
In a statement, Mayor Gloria supported the city council's decision.
“While this program was launched as a temporary solution to a devastating situation, we have seen the benefits of allowing expanded outdoor dining and shopping in our communities,” said Gloria in a statement. “As a city, we are committed to exploring ways to make this a more permanent feature beyond the pandemic, creating an environment where businesses can thrive and our residents and visitors can enjoy what San Diego has to offer.”
However, not everyone is on board with the outdoor layout. Mel Brown of Sacramento visited Little Italy on Tuesday.
”It’s kind of scary because I had a UPS truck turn the corner and a garbage truck and I was sitting on the edge," said Brown with a laugh. "It was not very comfortable. So, I’m thinking if COVID don’t kill me, the truck [and] the traffic is probably going to take me out."
According to Scott Robinson from the city, San Diego has issued over 400 temporary outdoor business operation permits since last year.