Coastal Commission Approves ‘Spaces as Places’ Parking Replacement Requirement for Beach Areas

by on August 23, 2023 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Enforcement of the new regulations to begin Monday, Sept. 11.

By Elisabeth Frausto / La Jolla Light / Aug. 22, 2023

The California Coastal Commission has approved the city of San Diego’s “Spaces as Places” regulations requiring some businesses in the coastal zone to replace public parking occupied by outdoor dining. The Spaces as Places program, guidelines launched during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow restaurants to seat patrons on sidewalks and parking spots during the closure of indoor dining, was made permanent in 2021.

The Coastal Commission, however, had concerns about the elimination of parking spots in a narrow strip of San Diego’s coastline known as the “beach impact area,” which begins at the north end of the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla and runs about 15 miles south to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park in Point Loma.

A loss of parking can mean a loss of public beach access, and the commission asked the City Council to amend the program to require restaurants to replace any public parking they occupy with an equivalent number of spaces elsewhere. The council did so May 22.

The commission approved the addition of the parking replacement requirement Aug. 10 and the city is now able to permit Spaces as Places locations in the overall coastal zone, according to city representative Perette Godwin. Temporary outdoor operations that were permitted during the COVID emergency may be maintained while an application for a permit under the newly authorized regulations is in process, Godwin said. Enforcement of the new regulations is to begin Monday, Sept. 11.

The beach impact area goes inland about a quarter-mile for most areas of the coastal zone, Godwin said, though it does exceed a quarter-mile in some places.

For the balance of the article – which focuses on La Jolla – please go here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

chris schultz August 23, 2023 at 1:06 pm

Oh yea, more public parking gone. Oh well, hard to support if you can’t park.


cg August 26, 2023 at 7:49 am

Where is the replacement parking? I should be able to park there without visiting the establishment.


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