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San Diego County's governments help businesses adapt to outdoor model

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 21:28:13-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Cities are rushing to adapt to the ever-changing State mandates on indoor facilities caused by the coronavirus pandemic. City governments are coming up with different ways to help local businesses stay afloat.

Rediscovering the great outdoors has been a roller coaster ride for city tacos owner, Gerald Torres.

"We kind of did a 180 and closed it all down, and now we're doing a 180 again and opening up for patios," Torres said about his La Mesa location.

This comes after the city of La Mesa enacted an Executive Order on Thursday, which allows businesses to use outdoor spaces for dining, displaying products, and other services.

Meanwhile, Coronado waived its alcohol prohibition in city parks, just ahead of this weekend's Spreckels Park Outdoor Dining Room event. This is a move to get people to buy local take-out, and picnic outdoors.

Coronado also approved gyms to hold classes at Spreckels Park, Bradley Field, and the beach.

"We feel fortunate that we live in a town where we can just jump out into the park and do yoga," Stephanie Anderson with Island Yoga Coronado said.

Tuesday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer signed an Executive Order waiving permitting requirements for sidewalks and parking lots for restaurants expanding outdoors.

On the same day, Chula Vista approved plans to block off car traffic on Third Avenue on weekend evenings. This will help diners expand their businesses onto the entire street, not just on sidewalks and parking lots. The Third Avenue Village Association will discuss details and the start date at a special meeting next Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Poway approved its Shared Outside Spaces (SOS) program, which lets houses of worship and gyms to hold activities at city parks. The city began accepting applications Friday morning. The city says we could be seeing yoga classes at parks as early as Monday.

Both local governments and businesses must stay nimble to fight through the pandemic.

"There is no quit in my team," Torres said. "Everyone has stepped up to the plate. We find out what the rules of the game are now, and operate within those rules."

All local governments say in order to operate outdoors, businesses must still follow all health guidelines set by the county and state.