San Diego

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This permit will allow for the temporary use of a street, sidewalk, parking lane or private property for business.


Traffic barricades indicating a closed street in downtown San Diego


A dining table and chairs on the sidewalk outside a restaurant

Parking Lane

Temporary outdoor dining on a parking lane in downtown San Diego

Private Property

Temporary outdoor dining on a private parking lot

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. 

Requirements & Conditions

The permit will temporarily allow for the expansion of outdoor dining and retail on to the public right-of-way, private parking lots or public spaces.

Issuance of the temporary permit will be 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.

Eligible Businesses

The following businesses with an active business tax certificate and all other applicable license or permits may apply:

  • Eating and drinking establishments
  • Retail and wholesale businesses

Eligible Locations

A temporary permit may be granted to conduct business outdoors on:

  1. Private property, including off-street parking lots, patio areas and yards. This will also be for sit-down dining or customer pick-up and carry-out service while avoiding congregating, equipment sharing or sound amplification.
  2. Public rights-of-way, sidewalks, street parking spaces and possibly closing select streets.


All permitted locations may be inspected.

Permitted Hours and Days of Operation

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 requirements.

Permit Length

If approved by the City Council, the interim urgency ordinance would enact temporary changes to the San Diego Municipal Code that would allow applicants to operate temporarily on the public rights-of-way until social distancing and federal, state and local mandates expire or are waived.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

View other PDF icon Temporary Outdoor Business Operation Permit FAQs

Additional Resources

Submit Your Proposal

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