Some businesses find themselves in violation of outdoor dining regulations

Local

SAN DIEGO — City officials this week identified eight businesses in violation of their outdoor dining structures, which were believed to be operating without a Temporary Outdoor Business Operations Permit.

The city is giving those businesses 10 days to come into compliance and present necessary permits. If they fail to do so, business owners face daily fines of $100 for each violation and will be given a hearing date. If all violations are fixed before the hearing date, the fees will be waived.

For businesses that have the necessary permits, compliance checks starts after Labor Day to make sure the outdoor dining structures meet city and fire codes.

In Little Italy, roofs on outdoor dining structures can still be seen throughout the neighborhood, which is one of the violations listed by the city.

“If you come down here in Little Italy, they’re all very similar, everybody did them in one format,” said Joey Busalacchi, co-owner at Barbusa. “And we made sure that we did them right and we got the approvals, and now to get them taken down is, I don’t know, it leaves a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.”

Busalacchi said early miscommunication about the outdoor spaces is now a big blow to restaurants.

“It’s costing everybody money, so it’s a little frustrating, it’s very frustrating actually,” he said.

Busalacchi said he spent $15,000 to make his outdoor space welcoming. He said others spent up to $70,000.

On top of that, it won’t come cheap to bring the structures up to code.

“We’ve gotten quotes for five to $10,000, I mean that’s a big hit,” he said. “That’s a big hit for restaurants, especially now a days. We have to find contractors, contractors are busy, so you know it’s going to be very difficult for everybody.”

For a list of the specific regulations businesses need to follow, click here.

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