Possibility of waiving some permit fees will only help portion of San Diego event industry

SOLANA BEACH (KUSI) – On Tuesday the County Board of Supervisors will vote to waive certain permit fees related to the event industry in an effort to reignite a stalled reopening.

The fees would be waived for the 2021-2022 fiscal year from the Department of Environmental Health and Quality, Department of Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Department, and the San Diego County Fire Authority.

County Chair Nathan Fletcher admitted that more needed to be done to bolster the industry that has been one of the hardest hit.

“There is much more that we need to do, we have to work closely with the state to get guidance that is real and meaningful and will allow them to get on a pathway to begin scheduling events safely,” Fletcher said during a press conference Monday.  “Meetings and events are not just activities for us to enjoy… it’s important to know that they provide money and funds for people to pay their employees, it is the livelihood of so many in our community.”

For entertainment venues like the Belly Up Tavern, they have not hosted an event since March 3, 2020. They say that while waiving some permit fees is a great first step in the right direction, it won’t immediately impact their reopening timeline.

“When you’re talking about something with hundreds of artists and hundreds of employees, there’s lots to factor in,” said President of Belly Up Entertainment Chris Goldsmith. “I think it’s been hard because there’s been such little guidance, and no one has been able to explain to the concert industry what reopening will look like.”

He said simply opening the doors on April 15 after changes in the guidelines from the state is not realistic, but he’s hopeful the time will come when it’s safe to invite people back.

“We’re super excited and we can see a light at the end of a tunnel but it’s still going to be a little while before we’re going to get up and running,” Goldsmith said.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local San Diego News