City extends deadline for restaurants to get outdoor spaces up to code

Local

SAN DIEGO — Restaurants in San Diego are facing a new deadline in order to keep their outdoor dining spaces open.

In May, the city extended temporary outdoor permits through July 13, 2022, but gave restaurants a Tuesday deadline to get the outdoor structures up to local, state and federal code. A city spokesperson said Tuesday morning that the deadline has been extended to Aug. 2.

City officials said in a statement that business owners are focused on reopening and attracting clientele, and that the city would like to support these efforts through the month of July.

“This will allow the city and business associations more time to communicate with impacted businesses,” the statement read.

The spokesperson said businesses will receive information in the mail explaining the change in deadline and requirements. The departments involved in inspections and permitting are having meetings with the business improvement districts and have already met with the Little Italy Association, the city said.

In order to be considered up to code, businesses will need to remove any permanent rooftops and portions of outdoor structures that block red curbs.

“From my understanding, we can’t even have those posts coming up,” said Vince Busalacchi, general manager of Nonna in Little Italy. “Can’t string lights across, can’t string power from the building, have to get a battery generator.”

Busalacchi says he believes that by this time next year, just about all the outdoor dining will be permanently gone. He believes those restaurants that are still able to have the outdoor spaces will be heavily regulated and fees will go up significantly.

The city is expected to release a permanent outdoor business plan this fall called “Spaces as Places.” It’s a comprehensive program designed by the City of San Diego’s Planning Department to transition temporary spaces from an emergency response to a permanent program with established design and safety standards.

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