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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

City of San Diego launches new outreach effort to make outdoor dining spaces safer

In order to expand business and dining into the public and private parking lots, businesses are required to obtain a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Monday marks the start of a new effort as the City of San Diego seeks to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure businesses are following the rules now that outdoor dining is back. A new outreach effort will provide education to business owners, reminding them about safety requirements for those providing outdoor dining and retail operations. 

In order to expand business and dining into the public and private parking lots, businesses are required to obtain a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit. Requirements for the construction of decks, platforms and temporary structures are outlined as part of the guidance that is available to business owners seeking a permit. 

On Dec. 15, 2020, CAL FIRE issued a bulletin reaffirming statewide fire prevention regulations for the use of tents, awnings or other fabric enclosures for outdoor dining. Beginning the week of Feb. 1, 2021, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel will be visiting businesses to provide informational handouts outlining the safety requirements. 

City officials said notifications are also being sent to Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit holders regarding their outdoor operations. 

“San Diego’s small businesses have been our focus through this pandemic, and we will work alongside those businesses that are permitted to conduct business outdoors so they can continue to do so safely and responsibly,” said Christina Bibler, Director of the City’s Economic Development Department. “We will help them navigate the process with care and grace if any changes are needed so they can be successful.” 

The Economic Development Department is hosting a webinar to help further educate business owners about the requirements. City staff will also be available to answer questions. 

Options are available to help dining and retail outlets with space constraints expand their operations outdoors to comply with safety protocols and COVID-19 public health orders. These options include construction specifications to expand into the public right of way. Temporary outdoor dining requirements and photos of compliant outdoor expansion projects are available by visiting sandiego.gov/TOB.