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COVID - 19 Outdoor Space Activation for Businesses

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In order to facilitate business needs, this Emergency Order enacts various modifications to the National City Municipal Code (NCMC) to allow for the following outdoor activities with specific restrictions. To assist certain businesses in allowing them to continue to operate under current State and County public health orders, the City of National City has relaxed its regulations for outdoor diningplaces of worship and personal services (gyms, salons, barbers, nail salons). The provisions of the NCMC are modified until the mandates for social distancing and related health and sanitation measures have been dissolved by the appropriate public health authority.

The City allows for the use of public sidewalks through our Activate the Right of Way (AROW program) and will temporarily allow the use for private parking or common space for outdoor dining, places of worship, personal services through the Temporary Outdoor Use Permit.

Businesses with adjacent outdoor space may remain open provided operations are restricted to outdoor use only and comply with industry guidance, all state and federal laws, specific guidance for their industry and/or operations and submit a plan for approval on their outdoor operations.

 A streamlined process to allow certain businesses to convert outdoor areas to provide temporary outdoor seating for customers is now available.

Restaurants that provide alcohol services and possess an Alcohol Beverage Control Department (ABC) license may sell alcohol with to-go orders if allowed by the ABC.  ABC Frequently Asked Questions on Alcohol To Go 

We've made it quick and easy to apply.

 outdoor dining    fitness    to go drink    


Private property/parking lots - Temporary Outdoor Use Permit

A streamlined process to allow restaurants, places of worship and personal services to convert certain outdoor areas to provide temporary outdoor seating for customers is now available.  For temporary private property permits, including parking lots please complete the Temporary Outdoor Use Permit application. There is no fee for this permit.  Staff will review the application and site layout.  Once approved a site inspection will be scheduled with a Fire Inspector.

Martin Reeder
Principal Planner
(619) 336 - 4313


Sidewalks- Activate the Right of Way Permit (AROW)

Eligible participants of the AROW program include businesses fronting on the public right-of-way and located on the first floor of a commercial property and local community-based organizations operating as non-profit once approved may create outdoor dining and displays on city sidewalks.  To propose use on a public sidewalk, please complete the activate-the-right-of-way (AROW) permit application.  Submittal requirements for a activate-the right-of-way use permit can be found here. The permit fees have been waived during this time.

Carla Hutchinson
Assistant Civil Engineer
(619) 336 - 4388

Ready to submit or have a question?

Submit requests for outdoor use of private property/parking lots with a schematic plan outlining the space you will use to Once application and site are reviewed you'll need to schedule an inspection with the Fire Department by calling Lillibeth Aguelo (619) 336-4554 or Judy Wilkins (619) 336-4553.

Submit requests for outdoor use on a public sidewalk by submitting a completed AROW application to CHutchinson@NationalCityCA.Gov.

Once submitted, we will keep you informed throughout the permit process. Our aim is to process your permit within a few business days. 

We are here to support and assist you during these challenging times.


Additional Resources