San Diego County Board Postpones Vote on Waiving Fees for Restaurants

Typically, restaurants can pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 for all permitting fees each year

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A vote weighing the possibility of waiving restaurant fees for a year in San Diego County has been postponed from Wednesday to next month when local leaders will discuss all COVID-19-related issues.

The proposal, introduced by County Supervisor Jim Desmond, will now be considered in a meeting on June 8 and would waive permit fees, including the Department of Environmental Health and Quality annual permit fees, for all San Diego County restaurants for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.

Typically, restaurants can pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 for all permitting fees each year.

San Diego restaurants collectively experienced whiplash in the last year as they were forced to shut down, allowed to reopen with restrictions in place, told to return to take-out only then given the green light to open once more under state guidance.

With the county currently under the orange tier of the state's color-coded tiered reopening system, diners are able to eat outdoors and indoor dining is allowed with a capacity of 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer. California's guidelines also state that indoor dining capacity could increase to 75% if all customers show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of full vaccination.

Desmond said at a news conference last week that waiving permit fees would provide necessary relief to an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

"I want to make sure they survive and the ones that have been able to stay open will survive through this next year and beyond," Desmond said.

The proposal will be revisited in a Board of Supervisors meeting on June 8.

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