Council to look at downtown patio policy

Cranbrook city council will have opportunity to revisit policies dealing with downtown outdoor patio seating

Arne Petryshen

Cranbrook city council will have opportunity to revisit policies dealing with downtown outdoor patio seating. At the moment businesses downtown are not permitted outdoor patios. Past councils have looked at the policies and kept the status quo.

Coun. Ron Popoff said that he and Mayor Lee Pratt had attended the Downtown Businesses Association meeting prior to the Nov. 16 city council meeting and the prospect of patios was brought up.

“They mentioned that there was a desire to develop some enabling policies, bylaws or whatever that may be for seasonal outdoor public patios,” Popoff said. “Certainly we see those in all the other communities around this area and broader, it just makes us wonder why we don’t have those yet in Cranbrook.”

Popoff said he was just putting the thought forward as an “ask” at the moment.

“Is it possible for staff to take this away as some winter homework and come up with some sort of an idea of what kind of project that might look like for staff to take on and see how that fits within our priorities,” he said. ‘Maybe we might have some sort of leadership enabling documents so that next spring, those in the business community — downtown or other — who want those outdoor patios, we would have something for them ready to go.”

Popoff asked if staff could look into setting up a sort of work task for the winter and report back the next meeting.

CAO Wayne Staudt said the question has come up before, and has also been researched by city staff.

“I think what we can do is maybe dust off one of those reports and bring it forth for council to have a look at because it’s not the first time this question has been raised,” Staudt said. “And you won’t be surprised that there’s pros and cons to it.”

He said previous councils have decided not to proceed with it based on the pros and cons that were in the report.

Staudt said he would try to have the report ready for the Dec. 7 meeting.

He noted it may need to be updated in some areas.

“There would’ve been input into it from our insurance people, RCMP and everything else,” Staudt said. “So whether they want to give me an update… because I don’t know how old it is — it might be three years old, it might be five