Council Committee Approves “Spaces As Places” Outdoor Dining Program



The San Diego City Council Land Use and Housing Committee on Thursday approved Mayor Todd Gloria’s program to permanently approve certain outdoor food and retail spaces, bringing the program closer to full board approval.

Gloria’s Spaces as Places program will be presented to full City Council in October.

“The San Diegans have made it clear how much they love alfresco dining and spaces born from the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am committed to finding a way for them to stay,” Gloria said. “This program will enable temporary outdoor structures built in response to the pandemic to become permanent facilities, ensuring long-term options that are safe, equitable and accessible to all. “

On August 4, 2020, the council approved an emergency ordinance authorizing temporary foreign business operations in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed businesses to organize outdoor dining in the public right-of-way to allow catering establishments to continue operating when indoor operations were limited due to public health orders.

In May, the city council granted an extension of the TOBOs until July 13, 2022.

Spaces as Places was designed by the city’s Planning Department and aimed to transform temporary spaces from an emergency response to a permanent program with established design and safety standards.

“By supporting businesses in traditionally underserved communities, the Spaces as Places program will provide a variety of options for quality outdoor venues that promote dining, walking, biking, public art and more. pleasant public interactions, “a statement from the planning department said.


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