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San Diego County Parks To Open For Outdoor Gyms, Religious Services

Picnic tables are seen behind yellow caution tape in the pavilion at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park, Aug. 5, 2020.
Nicholas McVicker
Picnic tables are seen behind yellow caution tape in the pavilion at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park, Aug. 5, 2020.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a plan that will make it easier for gyms and houses of worship to meet outdoors at county parks, as more activities move outside to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The measure, sponsored by Supervisor Dianne Jacob approved unanimously, allows gyms and houses of worship to reserve time and space for their outdoor activities at the county's parks free of charge.

San Diego County Parks To Open For Outdoor Gyms, Religious Services
Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen.

"We're being as innovative as possible and as flexible as possible to help our businesses and our churches, our gyms and other businesses as much as possible under some very, very understandable, strict circumstances," Jacob said.

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday took similar actions, extending its fast-tracked permitting for outdoor dining and retail on parking lots, sidewalks and street parking spaces to July 2021, or until the council rescinds the order. The council also approved easier permitting for outdoor massage establishments, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons.

Also on Tuesday, the Chula Vista City Council ratified easier permitting for outdoor operations of personal services businesses, restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries and cardrooms. The National City Council on Tuesday made similar moves for restaurants, places of worship and personal services businesses.

Jacob said her proposal was modeled after a measure approved in Poway, whose mayor, Steve Vaus, she has endorsed in the election to replace her.

"It's fair to say that sometimes you don't have to reinvent the wheel to have a successful operation," Jacob said.