SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – County leaders Wednesday approved a plan that would allow San Diego businesses such as gyms and local places of worship to operate outdoors at county parks.
The new initiative gives businesses another option as they look to operate amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the state implemented restrictions that forced many businesses to either close completely or move outdoors.
Under the plan, space at any of the county’s 30 parks could be used for service via a free permit.
“We need to be creative and provide a lot of flexibility, particularly to churches, places of worship, gyms, and other fitness-oriented businesses,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who proposed the plan.
Jacob said of the process to obtain permits: “I’m asking the county to streamline the process so it’s a very quick turnaround.”
She added the process is similar to Poway’s, a city with a similar plan already in place.
San Diegan Joel Nevarez visits San Diego’s Waterfront Park off Harbor Drive every morning for his workout because he enjoys it and the park was one of his only options.
"Getting some sunlight is good for you. I get some fresh air since I work from home, so I like it,” he told ABC 10News.
Nevarez’s gym is one of many businesses that shut down amid COVID-19 restrictions. He said if his studio held classes at the park, he'd be one of the first to sign up.
"It'd be good for anybody and my girlfriend would come, I'd probably tell my friends, too," said Nevarez.
Jacob said she hopes the plan will help local businesses get through the pandemic.
"We're trying to make it as easy as possible for businesses to survive during this difficult time and this is just another way to do it,” she said.