The Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit supports the recovery of businesses 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.
This permit allows for the temporary use of a street, sidewalk or parking lane for business.
The following businesses with an active business tax certificate and all other applicable license or permits may apply:
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 needed 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 instructions 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 public health and safety.
The Temporary Outdoor Restaurant Locations Map shows:
Visit the map frequently to view the latest updates.
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.
Please continue if you are applying for the temporary use of a street, sidewalk or parking lane.
You do NOT need to apply for a permit to conduct business outdoors on private property, including privately-owned parking lots.
Does your proposal include the use of a platform?
NOTE: Platforms are NOT required to conduct business outdoors.
Do you have a Right-of-Way permit for the use of a platform?
If No, you will be directed to the Right-of-Way permit page. A Right-of-Way permit must be obtained before applying for a Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit. A Right-of-Way permit costs on average about $2,000. A Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit without a platform is free.
Open-air Dining and Curbside Pickup Disability Access Considerations: This tool offers disability access tips for businesses to consider when conducting operations outdoors. This tool is not intended to be all-inclusive and should be used as a starting point for businesses to refer to for general guidance. For further consult regarding accessibility compliance, ask a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). Business owners can also refer to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Building Code for specific technical requirements to facilitate compliance.
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 with 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fire-Rescue Department will waive permit application and late fees.