The patio at the HeidOut and other Cranbrook restaurant patios will still be open for business during the circuit breaker restriction period. Corey Bullock photo

The patio at the HeidOut and other Cranbrook restaurant patios will still be open for business during the circuit breaker restriction period. Corey Bullock photo

City adopts updated downtown seasonal patio bylaw

Outdoor patio season is back.

The City of Cranbrook has adopted a new outdoor seasonal patio bylaw containing some updated tweaks from a regulatory framework that enabled their use in the downtown last year amid restrictions on indoor dining capacity limits due to COVID-19 public health orders.

The new bylaw extends the Licence of Occupation (LOO) for a three year term, which would allow businesses to amortize the capital cost of investing in outdoor patio structures.

“We met with several of the restaurants,” said Paul Heywood, Manager, Building and Bylaw Services, in discussion with city council last week. “They liked it, really what they were after was the duration; they wanted the full three years just because of the province’s stipulations with the Liquor Control Board that they’re looking to not have to go through this process year after year.

“So we extended it for three years, we discussed with them the size of the patios, what kind of financial commitment they were willing to make. We basically built the bylaw entirely on their recommendations.”

The city’s extension of the three-year term is a new change that provides more time for local businesses, rather than having to apply annually for one and falls in line with regulations from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

READ: BC’s pandemic patios need local approval to operate past June 1

The province enabled the use of Temporary Expanded Service Areas (TESAs) in order to allow restaurants and pubs to operate and serve food and alcohol in outdoor patios during pandemic capacity restrictions to indoor dining.

Existing TESAs will expire on June 1, 2022, however, the province noted last year that businesses wishing to make their patios permanent must meet local bylaw regulations.

The city’s updated bylaw allows for outdoor patios as a constructed structure or by utilizing the street or parking stalls for seating and service.