Vancouver Sun

Ex­tend pop-up pa­tio pro­gram un­til fall 2021, coun­cil urged

- KEVIN GRIF­FIN kev­in­grif­fin@post­media.com Canada News · Vancouver · British Columbia

Restau­rants and brew­eries should soon be able to move ahead with win­ter­iz­ing their tem­po­rary popup pa­tios.

In mid- Septem­ber, Van­cou­ver city coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously ap­proved ex­tend­ing the pro­gram through the first fall and win­ter of COVID-19.

City staff are rec­om­mend­ing coun­cil­lors take the next steps to ap­prove an ex­ten­sion of the tem­po­rary pop-up pa­tio pro­gram un­til Oct. 31, 2021.

The pro­gram has been a pop­u­lar one in Van­cou­ver. The pro­vin­cial Liquor and Cannabis Reg­u­la­tion Branch has is­sued 278 ap­provals for pop up pa­tios; 227 for restau­rants, 51 for bars and brew­eries.

Ian Tosten­son, pres­i­dent and CEO of the B.C. Restau­rant and Food­ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion, said restau­rants have wel­comed the pop-up pa­tio pro­gram not just in Van­cou­ver but through­out the re­gion. In some cases, it has al­lowed restau­rants to get to 70 or 80 per cent of their ca­pac­ity.

“I think we're see­ing a real en­thu­si­asm all across Metro Van­cou­ver with all the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties try­ing to ac­com­mo­date this and do some­thing,” he said.

Restau­rants also like know­ing the tem­po­rary pa­tios are in place un­til at least next Oc­to­ber.

“They have some cer­tainty now,”

Tosten­son said. “They can make those in­vest­ments now over a year ver­sus won­der­ing what's go­ing to hap­pen in the spring.”

The BCRFA rep­re­sents more than 3,000 busi­nesses and de­scribes it­self as the fore­most ad­vo­cate in the prov­ince for restau­rants and food ser­vices.

From the City of Van­cou­ver's per­spec­tive, win­ter­iz­ing a pa­tio by adding a cover sup­ported by posts cre­ates ad­di­tional floor space that

could vi­o­late the al­low­able FSR for the business.

A report to coun­cil says the by­law needs to be amended to al­low the plan­ning de­part­ment to ap­prove “the en­clo­sure of a tem­po­rary pa­tio and al­low the pa­tio to bet­ter op­er­ate over fall and win­ter.

“This would al­low pa­tios on pri­vate prop­erty for uses such as brew­ery and dis­tillery lounges, re­tail stores, cabarets, and in some cases, neigh­bour­hood gro­cery stores and restau­rants, which cur­rently are not per­mit­ted and ex­ist­ing per­mits for pa­tios to be ex­tended,” a report to coun­cil says.

An­other report said that about “75 per cent of the tem­po­rary pa­tios ... are sit­u­ated in the curb lane of the street. This is a rel­a­tively new pa­tio type for the city of Van­cou­ver to im­ple­ment at such sig­nif­i­cant scale.”

The report said it's im­por­tant to make sure pa­tios are safe and to take into ac­count how other street users are af­fected.

“Pa­tios will need to be re­viewed, and in some cases ad­justed or re­moved, based on sea­sonal or other op­er­a­tional con­sid­er­a­tions,” the report said.

De­pend­ing on which op­tion coun­cil ap­proves, the ex­ten­sion of the pop-up pro­gram could mean a loss of city rev­enue of $400,000 or $1.1 mil­lion gen­er­ated by its reg­u­lar pa­tio pro­gram.

Ear­lier this year, the LCRB fast­tracked ap­proval of ex­pand­ing drink­ing ar­eas and waived the usual ap­pli­ca­tion fee. Then the prov­ince said lo­cal gov­ern­ments could get one pre-ap­proval for all bars, lounges and brew­eries. The city waived its $99 fee on TESA ap­pli­ca­tions for liquor pri­mary busi­nesses.

“To sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses dur­ing the on-go­ing COVID-19 pan­demic, staff rec­om­mend that the city con­firm its sup­port in writ­ing to the Liquor and Cannabis Reg­u­la­tion Branch for ex­ten­sion of tem­po­rary ex­panded ser­vice area au­tho­riza­tions at liquor serv­ing busi­nesses in the city, pre-ap­prove all new ap­pli­ca­tions, and waive the city's fee for com­ment on ap­pli­ca­tions,” one of the re­ports said.

 ?? ARLEN REDEKOP ?? Pa­trons sit at a tem­po­rary pa­tio by Lib­erty Cafe and Coco et Olive. Van­cou­ver coun­cil re­cently ap­proved ex­tend­ing the tem­po­rary pa­tios pro­gram through fall and win­ter, and could ex­tend it to next Oc­to­ber.
ARLEN REDEKOP Pa­trons sit at a tem­po­rary pa­tio by Lib­erty Cafe and Coco et Olive. Van­cou­ver coun­cil re­cently ap­proved ex­tend­ing the tem­po­rary pa­tios pro­gram through fall and win­ter, and could ex­tend it to next Oc­to­ber.

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