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Outdoor Dining is Now Permanent!

We won! 🎉

This wouldn’t have been possible without all of you! You sent hundreds of emails, spent countless hours doing public comment, told your friends, and helped us collect over 4000 signatures on our petition to save shared spaces. We’ve built a network of businesses who know that GrowSF and our volunteers are here to help.

Special thanks to Mayor Breed, Supervisors Safai, Melgar, Stefani, Haney, Mandelman, and Mar for their support!

What happened

While our Supervisors would like you to think they all support outdoor dining and that the legislation passed unanimously, that was only after a deeply divided vote on a critical amendment.

During the Land Use hearing on July 12th, Supervisor Peskin introduced a poison pill to prevent small businesses from securing their shared spaces at night, which would enable vandalism, discarded needles, and human waste to litter the spaces.

Supervisor Safai came to the rescue with an amendment to allow the parklets to be closed from midnight to 7am — a compromise negotiated with Supervisor Mar. How did the vote go? It barely passed, 6-5.

The coalition that supports San Francisco’s small businesses (Supervisors Safai, Melgar, Stefani, Haney, Mandelman, and Mar) voted in favor of the amendment and saved outdoor dining!

Supervisors Peskin, Preston, Chan, Ronen, and Walton opposed this vital change. If they had just one additional vote to kill the amendment, outdoor dining would effectively be dead.

This is another reminder that who you vote for in local races matters. We need to elect officials who promote growth and change in our city, and are building for future generations.

Read more details at the SF Chronicle.


The Shared Spaces program has kept your favorite restaurants and bars alive and your neighbors employed. Outdoor dining has safely transformed our streets into communities.

GrowSF knows we need to keep this program alive: Shared Spaces should be permanent. San Francisco has incredible food and incredible weather. Let’s celebrate that!

Things you can do:

1. Sign the petition

Sign our petition to show our city officials that you want to keep outdoor dining! We'll keep you updated with what's going on and ways you can get involved.

2. Send an email to our officials

Emails matter. They are direct and personal. We make it easy: these links will open a prefilled email. You can view it, edit it, and then hit send when ready.

3. Call in to give public comment

Land Use and Transportation Committee

  • When: When: Monday, June 7th. The meeting starts at 1:30pm. Shared Spaces is the third item on the agenda.
  • Details: Links to the agenda and video stream.
  • To listen in on the meeting: Call (415) 655-0001, enter meeting ID 187 714 5745, press # and # again
  • To put yourself into the queue for public comment: Dial *3. Wait until the Shared Spaces item is being discussed to do this. We recommend raising your hand for public comment immediately when the item starts.
  • Fill out this form from our friends at SF Small Business to get a text or email when public comment opens up.

Haven't given public comment before? Don't worry, it's easy! Introduce yourself and briefly mention why you love outdoor dining. You will be given 1 or 2 minutes to speak. Here's a sample comment:

Hi, my name is Mike and I live in the Inner Sunset. I'm calling in support of making outdoor dining permanent. Over the past year my family and I have really enjoyed eating and drinking outside. It's safe and fun.

We don't want to see this go away. Outdoor dining has been great for our small businesses and for our community. Walking around our neighborhood now we see so much more energy than we did before. People are outside having fun and meeting each other.

This program has been great for the city and we want it to continue forever. Thank you.

Outdoor Dining

The problem

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on our city. When covid hit, restaurants and bars were forced to close their doors for months! But Mayor Breed acted fast and launched the Shared Spaces program, which allowed for outdoor dining in parking spaces, sidewalks, and in private lots.

While most emergency Shared Spaces permits have been extended until the end of the year, we need to do more to make sure this program is permanent and works for everyone. Mayor Breed has introduced legislation for this, but it still needs to go through a long political process.

And during this process, there will be opposition. Making the program permanent is obviously good for everyone, but a vocal minority of people in San Francisco don't like change and don't like to have fun.

Making the program permanent will help our restaurants and bars get back on their feet, create thousands of jobs, and generate tax revenue for the city. Outdoor dining will also attract tourists who will support all businesses in the city.

Doesn't this remove parking spaces?

There are over 442,000 public parking spaces in San Francisco. Currently 1,499 of these parking spaces are being used for small business. That is 0.3% of the total. If every single restaurant used a parking space then we'd be up to just 1% of all publicly owned parking spaces. Source

Partners

Co-sponsors

Who supports Shared Spaces?

Supporters:

  • Mayor Breed
  • Supervisor Stefani (D2)
  • Supervisor Mar (D4)
  • Supervisor Haney (D6)
  • Supervisor Melgar (D7)
  • Supervisor Mandelman (D8)
  • Supervisor Safai (D11)

Questions?

Check out the city's page on the Mayor's legislation for details on what the permanent program might look like.

You can also reach out to us at contact@growsf.org