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San Diego News Desk Reports:

City of San Diego Eases Rules on Outdoor Space, Enabling Hospitality Businesses to Stay Open Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

SAN DIEGO, CA (August 14, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused public health authorities to ban indoor dining. Smart restaurant owners are adapting their business models quickly by seeking permits to open “parklets” – a new tool in their survival playbook.

A parklet transforms curbside parking spaces into a place for restaurants to set up tables and serve people outside. The City of San Diego recently made it easier to open a parklet for retailers and restaurants and has waived some fees. The idea is to give businesses more room to make money amid new social distancing restrictions that disallow indoor dining in restaurants.

Marco Polo Permits has fielded dozens of inquiries from restaurant owners and has processed more than 12 successful parklet permits in the past month for its restaurant clients, said permitting and licensing expert Marco Polo Cortes, owner of Marco Polo Permits. Cortes has extensive experience in permitting outdoor dining, having advised the California Restaurant Association on streamlining regulations for sidewalk cafes.

“A parklet is another tool that the government is providing to help restaurants survive. It allows a restaurant to serve its customers on the space formerly occupied by a parking spot,” Cortes said. “If they can set up three or four tables, the restaurant could generate additional revenue. That’s money that can be used by the restaurant to stay viable by paying rent, employee wages and overhead.”