New Outdoor Restrictions Coming to San Diego Restaurants by July 13th

Written by Lev Finzi

A brand new requirement for restaurants in San Diego has the small business owners of our city worried for the coming years. The new permit, “Spaces as Places”, will require its application for the permit by July 13th, 2022.

In downtown San Diego, you’re sure to find a restaurant having a built patio with tables and chairs for extra seating. The patios were built specifically for the pandemic, so the restaurants could still operate and keep businesses afloat. The restaurants were allowed to put the patios up for a temporary bit as the restrictions for COVID kept people on the outside. Once the restrictions had been lifted for the most part, the program passed as permanent. 

The “Spaces as Places” permit is to be renewed every 2 years and requires a massive amount of construction and change to be done to these outdoor spaces. Chris Larson, the head of the project has given details about what is to be expected in the coming months for the restaurants. “Just because a business has a temporary outdoor operation permit, doesn’t mean their location or what they’ve constructed will qualify to meet the requirements for the Spaces as Places permit,”

“There’s going to be requirements to have access to the platform every ten feet. There are going to be requirements that the platforms don’t continue for half a block or a block so that there’s the ability for emergency services to move from the street to the sidewalk similar to how they would for a car,…A lot of structures built during the last couple of years have overheard roofs and electrical wiring, that will no longer be something allowed under the permanent program,”

Fees for these structures will also be put in place, with it ranging from $10 to $30 per square foot on an annual basis. On top of that, those fees do not cover the fees for inspection.

Photo Cred: Megan Wood/ Voice of San Diego