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Temporary outdoor patios in Richmond could become permanent

Richmond's temporary patio program is set to expire on June 1, 2022.
Fuggles and Warlock Patio
Fuggles and Warlock's extended patio.

Outdoor patios at restaurants and cafes could become a permanent fixture in Richmond.

Restaurants and other food and beverage businesses were allowed, on a temporary basis, to expand outdoor seating onto public properties, such as parking spaces or sidewalks, to help with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sixty-seven businesses created these temporary patios in Richmond during the pandemic, of which six were on public property.

The city is now considering extending these permits and making the patio program permanent.

This is on the agenda for Monday’s general purposes committee meeting.

The patio program was first approved in May 2020 and has been extended twice; however, it’s set to expire on June 1, 2022.

City staff is now recommending the temporary program be extended once again to June 1, 2023. Furthermore, they’re also recommending city council approve a permanent program to replace the temporary one.

“The proposed Patio Program would provide flexibility for businesses considering their future options by enabling additional patio types, including those on public property and those on private property, where patio operation is seasonal and does not result in an increase to occupancy limits,” reads the report.

In addition, city council is looking to introduce a new process for issuing patio permits such as public space patio regulations, development permits, fees and other procedures.

City staff are also asking city council to send a letter to the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to allow existing temporary outdoor patio permit holders to continue serving alcohol.