SAN DIEGO – A Scripps Ranch restaurant is raising concerns over the potential loss of more than 100 parking spaces if the city moves ahead with a proposed supportive housing development.
Dozens of customers Thursday came out to show support for Yanni’s Bar and Grill and the need for those parking spots.
Outside of Yanni’s is a park-and-ride site with 120 spots, but a proposed 60-unit development for veterans and seniors by San Diego Community Housing Corp. threatens spaces used by customers, according to owner Yanni Pihas.
“If 120 parking spots are gone, we are gone,” said Pihas, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Denise. “My business is destroyed, the livelihood of my employees is destroyed, there is no alternative parking. This is not downtown.”
The couple said their biggest concern is the lack of assurance that their eatery still would be supported by enough parking if the housing proposal is approved.
“We can only speak for ourselves our business, but we are not opposing this particular project,” Denise Pihas said. “We just would like the parking replaced.”
According to the city, the lot is “underutilized,” and a Caltrans study shows its vehicle count averaged 22-54 cars a day between 2015 and 2019. The supportive housing proposal is set to be considered by San Diego City Council early next year.
While supporters filled the lot Thursday, Yanni’s says it’s regularly busy even during the pandemic.
The restaurant has an upcoming meeting with city leaders to discuss the dilemma.
“The restaurant, the hotels, the other businesses – I’m going with the assumption that he’s never been here and that he doesn’t know that it’s not a vacant lot,” Denise Pihas said. “That it actually is in the center of a business development and that other businesses rely on the space.”