SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — City staffers are making their rounds across San Diego searching for violations and anything that may be out of compliance with the rules for outdoor dining parklets.
"It should be something that can go up and in the evening when the businesses close, comes right down," said Kim Wallace-Ross with the City of San Diego.
Starting Tuesday, code enforcement staff are visiting businesses with outdoor parklets to look for any code violations.
"Some may have platforms that are not part of their permit,” said Wallace-Ross. “Some may have roof structures that are not part of their permit."
If a violation is found, businesses will have 10 days to fix it. This could stretch to 30 days, but they'll be fined up to $100 per day per violation.
"If they're in compliance by the 30th day, then there is no need for us to take them to a hearing and there are no fines attached," said Wallace-Ross.
Some business owners say that they need more help from the city to survive, but not more penalties and fines.
"It's hard enough trying to get employees and customers to come back, let alone a fine. We need help," said restaurant manager Cordel Webb.
"It's been open and close, open and close,” said restaurant owner Carol Edenbaum. “First you could eat outdoors, then you couldn't eat outdoors. It's been horrible. And to think because everything has opened up, that things are fine is outrageous."
While some business owners are frustrated with the situation, the city says they've been working to educate businesses on these changes for over a year.
"The city is not out to get anyone,” said Wallace-Ross. “We're out to help and assist and educate."
Some of the violations city staff will be checking for include, platforms built-in the street with added walls or roofs, railings that are taller than 45-inches, and tents and canopies that have been in use for more than six months in a year.
"We've had to modify it just because they are going by and doing the checks now," said Webb.
"I'm not worried,” said Edenbaum. “We did everything we were supposed to do within code."
Eligible businesses can apply for grant money on the city's website to help with the cost of bringing their parklet into compliance.
To learn more visit here.
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