SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco officials are considering waiving outdoor permit fees, and extending the “Shared Spaces Program” until Spring 2022. City officials Aaron Peskin and Rafael Mandelman have proposed the ordinance, and if passed, would mean that fees will continue to be waived until April 15, 2022.

According to the city, on September 23 San Francisco’s Board of Supervisor’s Budget and and Finance Committee unanimously approved and recommended the legislation. The legislation will then be passed onto the full board before becoming officially approved.

Without having fees waived, the expenses for restaurants to maintain outdoor dining would quickly rack up. For example, the approximate fees the city charges for putting tables and chairs outside the restaurant is $150 and an additional $8 per square foot to get a permit. Then annual renewal costs are $74 plus an additional $7 per square foot. If a restaurant wants to extend into a parking lot, the fees are even higher.

The ordinance would also promise to forgive fees until April 15, and will reimburse fees already paid. Also, restaurants already using Shared Spaces would not need to re-apply when the program is supposed to end on December 31, 2020.

In a response to the city committee, San Francisco’s Small Business Commission wrote in a public statement “The Commission emphasized that the ability for small businesses to utilize the public right of way for tables and chairs, display merchandise and parakeets helps to generate sales tax revenue, supports local jobs and contributes to the beautification of The City.”