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San Diego City Council passes new rule for coastal restaurants to replace parking taken by outdoor dining

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Posted at 8:29 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 09:58:00-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) — Restaurants along the coast face a big hurdle to continue operating their streetaries.

This week, the San Diego City Council signed off on requiring coastal businesses to replace parking spaces taken by outdoor dining.

"I think by any measure, you really have to look at outdoor dining as very successful," said restaurateur Darren Moore.

Moore owns Shore Rider and Dough Momma Pizzeria along Avenida De La Playa in La Jolla.

The area is expected to be packed with locals and tourists during Memorial Day Weekend.

Moore says there are around twenty parking spaces taken by outdoor dining in the area.

"We've probably added about 35 to 40 percent additional seats," he said.

Under the new requirement, restaurants near the beach must replace the equivalent number of parking spaces taken by outdoor dining.

The city said the new parking space must be within 1,200 feet of the space it's replacing.

The California Coastal Commission modified the city's Spaces as Places plan out of concern the parklets were inhibiting beach access.

"We're not living with an abundance of areas to build a parking structure. We're going to really have to get creative when it comes to reinstalling the additional parking," Moore said.

He said he's waiting on the city to clarify how businesses can comply with the replacement requirements.

He said he plans to exhaust all options in order to continue operating the outdoor dining spaces.

"I think it does a great service for San Diego and La Jolla shores. [It'll] continue to bring people to the beach and do exactly what the Coastal Commission wants, and that is to make more access and more people visit the beach. I think we're a part of that," Moore said.

The new restriction will return to the city council for a second reading next month. It will then be resubmitted to the Coastal Commission for final, unconditional certification.

The city expects the Spaces As Places program, as modified by the Coastal Commission, to go into effect in the coastal area sometime in July.