San Diego Outdoor Dining establishments now are required to have permits as of a new law that went into effect July 13, 2022. More at

Restaurant operators who wished to keep using their temporary patio areas had until Wednesday, July 13 to submit an application for a new Spaces as Places permit.

When it comes to those temporary permits, Wednesday, July 13th, marked a significant deadline for restaurant owners in the city of San Diego.Restaurant owners had until July 13 to submit an application for a new Spaces as Places permit if they wanted to keep using their temporary patio areas.

The city council decided to make the trial outdoor dining program permanent in October.

Only 19 eateries, some of which are housed inside food courts, have applied for the city's "Spaces as Places" permits, according to city records that SoCal Television received through a public records request. Less than 4% of the roughly 500 businesses have set up temporary outside dining areas during the COVID closure.

ESRI San Diego Spaces as Places map

The city's project coordinator, Chris Larson, told SoCal Television in a statement on June 1 that eateries were permitted to construct outdoor dining areas to assist them deal with the outbreak.

The mere possession of a temporary outdoor operation permit by a company does not guarantee that its location or the structures it has built would be suitable for the Spaces as Places permit, according to Larson.

The buildings will need to be handicap accessible, according to Larson.

"There’s going to be requirements to have access to the platform every ten feet. There are going to be requirements that the platforms don’t continue for half a block or a block so that there’s the ability for emergency services to move from the street to the sidewalk similar to how they would for a car," Larson added.

New fees will also be charged to restaurant owners. Depending on where the company is located, different costs apply. Owners should expect to pay between $10 and $30 per square foot over the course of a year. That doesn't, according to Larson, include inspection expenses.

The permit lasts two years.

Below is the Notice of Expiration of Temporary Outdoor Business Operations (TOBO) Permit letter sent by the City of San Diego Development Services Department permit holders.


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