Mayor Kevin Faulconer signed an emergency executive order to ease restrictions for restaurants.
This will waive some regulatory requirements normally imposed by the city.
It will allow restaurants to expand their service into outdoor spaces.
Faulconer announced this during a press conference.
The order will include waives permits and parking requirements for the use of sidewalks and private parking lots as outdoor dining venues.
It will take effect immediately.
Preserving Lives And Jobs
Enforcement of municipal codes that would typically prohibit such operations will be suspended.
“This [executive order] is important to preserve people’s jobs and to preserve public safety,” he said.
“Public health experts have been clear.
Two key tools to help slow the spread of the virus.
“(First is an) open-air environments and (second) physical distancing.”
Shortening The Bureaucracy
Normally securing the necessary permit to expand outdoors take months and costs businesses more than $1,000.
Elyse Lowe, development services director for the City of San Diego, said this doesn’t give special treatment.
Noting that the order does not make businesses exempt from any requirements.
They will still abide to the ADA requirements, live music ordinances and other rules that exist.
All of these extra measures are being done to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The San Diego City Council is expected to consider a proposed ordinance next week, said the report.
If approved, the ordinance is expected to:
- Reduce permit fees
- Waive and streamline permit reviews
- Allow for outdoor dining plazas and outdoor operations in on-street parking areas
Mayor Faulconer added:
“This action will provide relief while the city is finalizing a new ordinance for council approval
“(It) will cut fees and streamline permits to make it easier for businesses to operate outdoors.”
He also reminded San Diegans:
“Our decision to wear masks will affect people’s lives and livelihoods.
Our decisions to physically distance will affect people’s lives and livelihoods.
COVID-19 spreads based on our individual actions.”