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Monterey County

Salinas expects to continue with permits for businesses and outdoor operations

Outdoor gym equipment

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Some businesses in Salinas might be able to continue having operations outdoors despite the end date.

The City of Salinas initially began warning businesses of personal services, shopping centers, gyms, and others that were expected to end their outdoor operations by August 15th.

However, restaurants, bars, and Covid-19 testing sites are able to continue until December 31st with a permit.

Iris Allesandro, co-owner of Kai Fit, received an email from the city that their outdoor gym must be taken down by August 15th.  For the past year they’ve been moving equipment in and out every day, she said. Despite the hassle, they do it for the community and she also said some members-only go to Kai Fit because of the outdoor option.

“There's still a lot of people that have a concern with the new developments," said Alessandro. "People aren't really sure how to feel. I think the focus right now should be a little less on what the businesses are doing indoors or outdoors. And how can we support businesses and still continuing to do business and be able to hold protocol that feels safe for everybody?”

According to the city, the decision to end temporary use of land permits was made back on June 22nd, after Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement on the reopening of the state. However, it allowed an extension for restaurants and bars to continue outdoors operations until December 31st. The city’s Associate Planner Oscar Resendiz said 72 permits were initially approved, 24 permits currently remain active and only 3 permits will be impacted. But with rising in Delta cases this decision may be changed, he said.

“We are looking into the possibility of going back to council and requesting that the other industries have the opportunity to also operate outdoors until the end of the year,” said Resendiz.

Due to timing, they won’t be able to take it up to council until August 24th, he said. Salinas Councilman Steve McShane said, the council has been on recess this last month and they plan to address outdoor business on their first meeting back next Tuesday.

“There is an emergency order that is still in place with the city and the city manager is empowered under that order to suspend any action, any deadline," said McShane. "I've spoken with the city manager and the intention of the city is to make sure that our small businesses are impacted as least as possible.”

As of now these businesses must follow the August 15th deadline and move back to only operating indoors. But the city encourages business owners to be on the lookout in case of any changes.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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