Restaurants like Son of a Toast in North Park set up temporary outdoor dining structures during the COVID-19 pandemic. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

The city is coming for all those fancy outdoor dining structures. Or is it?

Outdoor dining has become one of the most prominent and attractive features of pandemic life in San Diego. And this week, the city of San Diego was scheduled to start cracking down on unpermitted structures.

Then it made the last-minute announcement that restaurants would now have until Aug. 2 to get their temporary outdoor business operation structures (known as TOBOS) up to code and avoid any enforcement measures by the city.

It’s still entirely unclear, though, whether the city will actually force restaurants to take the structures down next month.

The Latest Housing Commission Kerfuffle

VOSD hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby have for weeks now been reviewing the curious and potentially criminally conflicted purchase of a Mission Valley hotel by the San Diego Housing Commission.

This week, Keatts’s latest reporting shows that the appraisal for the hotel — acquired to be converted to long-term housing for the homeless — was backdated to before the pandemic decimated the hotel industry. That put the price of the hotel a lot higher than it was at the time of the actual appraisal (and purchase) took place.

Recalls and Reopening

News broke late last week that Carlsbad City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher resigned her post.

She’s been facing a possible recall and heat from Carl DeMaio, and his group Reform California. They were the ones pushing the recall and they claimed credit for the move.

Schumacher’s news, though, seems to be part of a larger trend, as our hosts explain in this week’s podcast. As with various local school boards, the failed effort to recall San Diego City Council President Jen Campbell and even the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, tensions over how and when to reopen seem to be driving many of these conflicts.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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