SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A new initiative in Pacific Beach could keep many businesses afloat but may make parking in the area even harder to find.
Twenty-six parking spaces on Ocean Boulevard between Grand and Thomas avenues will be temporarily converted to outdoor dining for nearby businesses.
Signs posted near the parking spaces show there will be no parking starting Friday, Aug. 21, until Dec. 30 for a special event.
PB Shore Club owner Doug Sondomowicz worked with the city’s permits department, local police and fire departments, and the Coastal Commission for five weeks to get permits approved.
The area where the parking spots used to be is now where cars and emergency vehicles can drive through along Ocean Boulevard.
PB Shore Club will add 22 tables to the patio, bringing them to about 2/3 of their pre-COVID seating capacity.
Sondomowicz said he thinks this will allow him to bring almost 100 percent of his employees back. The tables will be ready to go by lunchtime on Saturday.
"Originally, we laid off every employee we had here … hopefully with this we will get closer to that 100 percent employee mark,” said Sondomowicz. "During these trying times with COVID-19, the city has been gracious to let us use this and be able to keep us open and try to employ more people. And give locals and tourists still options to be able to eat outside beachfront."
Waterbar will add around 20 tables and have their patio ready to go by 4 p.m. Friday.
Some people in Pacific Beach say finding parking in the area is already difficult and this restriction will make it even harder.
Pacific Beach resident Robert Gally opposes the idea, and he told ABC 10News, "A lot of times, I see police responding out here. I see fights. There's loud music. Knowing that they're going to be outside is just making it even worse. So, I'm very upset."
PB resident Cindy Palus, who supports the idea, said, "I think it's advocating for people to get outside and walk, it's not a big deal and I think the businesses need it. San Diego needs it. I think it's great. I think we're supporting the economy."
A spokesperson for San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell’s office confirmed to ABC 10News that the space will be for outdoor dining.
The spokesperson says the request was made and voted on by a group called Discover PB. She tells ABC 10News that the change was approved by the Coastal Commission.
ABC 10News reached out to the group Discover PB, but have not heard back.