Restaurants, pubs and wineries with temporary outdoor patios can now operate them until at least June 1, 2022. Those permits were due to expire on Oct. 31. (Image by Rose McAvoy from Pixabay)

Restaurants, pubs and wineries with temporary outdoor patios can now operate them until at least June 1, 2022. Those permits were due to expire on Oct. 31. (Image by Rose McAvoy from Pixabay)

Temporary restaurant and pub patios in Abbotsford get an extension

Permits were due to expire Oct. 31, but are now good until June 1, 2022

Local restaurants, pubs and wineries can now operate their temporary outdoor patios until June 1, 2022.

Abbotsford council on Monday (Oct. 25) approved an extension of temporary outdoor patio permits until that date, as has been allowed under the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).

Currently, there are 20 such permits that were due to expire on Oct. 31. Of those, all except three – in historic downtown Abbotsford – are located on private property.

“The extension recognizes the continuing impact of the pandemic and gives existing proponents utilizing these permissions the opportunity to explore the requirements and approvals needed to transition to permanent facilities,” says a staff report to council.

RELATED: Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

The report says the extension will give businesses enough time to work with regulating agencies – local government, the Agricultural Land Commission and the LCRB – if they want to have a permanent patio.

During the extension to June 1, the businesses will not be allowed to increase their currently approved capacity limits.

Council was told that any business wanting to have a permanent patio after June 1 will be considered on a “case-by-case basis,” with input from the public.

Issues that will be taken into consideration include whether a parking variance or setback is needed.

Mayor Henry Braun asked about the three patios on public land. He said the inclement weather means they are not currently being used.

“(This is) creating some angst with some of the people shopping saying, ‘OK, we get the patios, but if it’s not being used, why don’t they just remove it and let us park here?’ ” he said.

Staff indicated that although the structures themselves could easily be disassembled, it would be costly to remove the surrounding cement barricades and wheelchair-accessible “set-downs.”

As well, any business removing its patio now cannot put it up again – for example, in the spring – under the current permit process for temporary patios, council was told.

The LCRB will not accept applications for any new temporary patios after Oct. 31.

The province first announced in May 2020 that restaurants and bars could expand their service areas, such as patios, to support physical-distancing requirements due to COVID-19.

RELATED: Province streamlines patio applications for B.C. restaurants, wineries, pubs



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