Mayor signs order allowing gyms, churches, salons to expand outdoors
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer signed an executive order Monday to allow local gyms, churches and salons to expand their businesses outdoors into private parking lots.
Faulconer said gyms and places of worship can operate outside “effective immediately,” while state regulations still need to be amended to allow barbershops and salons to take their businesses outside, though both are covered under Faulconer’s executive order.
The mayor said city officials expect a state decision regarding those businesses “could come as early as today.”
The order comes a week after after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all indoor operations would be shuttered at a wide variety of recently reopened businesses due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The executive order announcement was made at a morning news conference held in the parking lot of Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society, one of the businesses poised to make the outdoor expansion.
Elyse Lowe, director of the city’s Development Services Department, said the order would affect at least 4,000 local businesses.
“What we’re doing today is providing a critical lifeline for a very large segment of our small business community,” Faulconer said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in San Diego, and they need our help and support.”
The move follows a similar executive order issued last month allowing local restaurants and retail shops to expand outdoors onto sidewalks, private parking lots and on-street parking spaces.
The San Diego City Council voted unanimously last week in support of the plan, which waives requirements and permit fees typically needed to move outdoors.
The council is also slated to vote on cementing the newest executive order into a city ordinance at a later date.