Written by Michael Palomba
Last week, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer issued an executive order eliminating some red tape for restaurants affected by Gov. Newsom’s showdown orders. Faulconer’s order is specifically aimed at removing restrictions on outdoor dining. Currently, restaurants citywide are restricted from offering indoor dining, however, outdoor dining is still permitted—albeit with restrictions.
Faulconer’s executive order would suspend enforcement of permits that restaurant owners would otherwise be required to obtain to begin serving customers outdoors. He said the order will remain in effect until the San Diego City Council passes a measure reducing fees and eliminating red tape associated with establishing outdoor dining spaces.
A few weeks back, Faulconer proposed waiving fees and permitting businesses to expand into parking lots, sidewalks, and street parking spaces. This would allow increased social distancing, a constant flow of fresh air, and would allow restaurants to bring in much-needed customers and revenue.
Despite the fact that the economy is recovering and many industries have somewhat adjusted to the restrictions, the food industry is still suffering. Many restaurants, both nationwide and in San Diego, have been forced to shut their doors permanently due to the financial turmoil brought about by COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
Mayor Faulconer’s executive order will bring some much-needed relief to restaurant owners and their employees. We need to learn how to coexist with this virus rather than just hiding inside until it goes away, and Faulconer’s order is definitely a step in the right direction.