VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The City of Vancouver is considering an extension to the outdoor patio program until next fall to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a staff report, to be presented to council on Tuesday, the temporary patio program would be extended until Oct. 31, 2021. It was previously extended until the end of winter.
Staff now recommends the bylaw allowing outdoor patios to be amended to let businesses operate enclosed, pop-up, patios until next fall.
The changes would have to go to public hearing first and include granting the director of planning discretionary power to vary other regulations to enable enclosure of patios.
Council first approved the outdoor patio permit program in May, to support businesses and physical distancing.
That same month, council pre-approved all liquor primary and manufacturer establishments who apply to the province for an expanded liquor service area.
Amendments to the zoning bylaw for temporary patios would allow those 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,” according to a staff report.
The Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has issued 278 temporary permits to Vancouver liquor service businesses, 227 to food primary businesses in the city, and 51 to liquor establishment and manufacturer businesses.
Last month, Vancouver Coun. Michael Wiebe refuted accusations that he broke conflict of interest rules by voting on a temporary patio policy in the city during the pandemic. Wiebe owns a restaurant and also has money invested in a pub in Vancouver.