This permit allows for the temporary use of a street, sidewalk, parking lane or private property for business. Please note, most operations conducted within private properties - including privately-owned parking lots- are not required to obtain this permit. Other City permits may be required if tents or structures are constructed or placed to support operations.
The Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit supports the recovery of local retail outlets and restaurants devastated by economic impacts from COVID-19 by helping businesses with limited footprints operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses and get closer to the sunshine. The goal is to help dining and retail outlets with space constraints expand operations outdoors so they can cost-effectively implement safety, health and distancing protocols.
The permit temporarily allows for the expansion of outdoor dining and retail on to the public right-of-way, private parking lots or public spaces. Please note, most operations conducted within private properties - including privately-owned parking lots- are not required to obtain this permit. Other City permits may be required if tents or structures are constructed or placed to support operations.
Issuance of the temporary permit is subject to new guidelines or mandates for public gatherings and social distancing in accordance with the County of San Diego public health orders and guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As with all guidance that relates to COVID-19 response, permit requirements will be regularly evaluated or updated to respond to any changes to ensure the public health and safety.
The following businesses with an active business tax certificate and all other applicable license or permits may apply:
A temporary permit may be granted to conduct business outdoors on:
All permitted locations may be inspected.
Outdoor operations may occur during normal business hours according to San Diego Municipal Code, and other state and local requirements.
All applications will be considered. However, a permit may not be granted in areas where there is current or planned work in the public right-of-way, transit services or does not comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Questions? Ask an ADA expert.
The interim urgency ordinance enacts temporary changes to the San Diego Municipal Code that allow applicants to operate temporarily on the public rights-of-way until social distancing and federal, state and local mandates expire or are waived.
Download and complete two forms below:
Apply for the permit. You will be required to upload the completed documents from Step 2.
Events requiring a Fire-Rescue Department permit:
Outdoor assembly of 50 or more people within a fenced area (example: a fenced parking lot for temporary outdoor dining).
Temporary membrane structures and tents having an area in excess of 400 square feet (example: a tented parking lot for temporary outdoor dining).
A completed Fire-Rescue Department special event permit application, along with dimensioned floor and/or site plans and any other supporting documentation, can be emailed to [email protected].
The Fire-Rescue Department will waive permit application and late fees.