San Diego to begin issuing parklet violations

Posted at 4:28 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 14:57:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego code enforcement officers on Tuesday will begin issuing violations to businesses whose parklets are violating city and state regulations.

Currently, upwards of 435 businesses hold temporary outdoor permits, which the city issued when the pandemic hit.

Problems arose when the city says some restaurants went well beyond its authorization, which was essentially tables and chairs on the asphalt behind barriers. Instead, some business owners, many in the Gaslamp District and Little Italy, spent tens of thousands of dollars making their parklets elaborate -- with rooftops (violation of state fire codes), propane heaters under cover and blocking red curbs, for example.

The parklets provided a lifeline for businesses when indoor service was not allowed under coronavirus restrictions.


Earlier this year, the City Council voted to extend the outdoor permits to July 13, 2022. However, they required business owners to get their parklets into compliance by July 13, 2021. That deadline has since been extended twice. But on Tuesday, city code enforcement officers will begin visiting businesses to inspect their outdoor parklets and issue necessary correction orders.

"We wanted to make sure that we were ensuring the safety of our citizens while still supporting our businesses, who are also our citizens," said Leslie Sennett, the city's deputy director for code enforcement.

Sennett said business owners would have 30 days to comply or face a hearing. At that hearing, they could be fined up to $100 per day per violation. That is down from the original threat of $1,000 per violation per day.

Meanwhile, the city is working on a program called Spaces as Places that would make outdoor operations permanent. It has a grant program to help businesses get their parklets into compliance.