If you liked having a pint or pizza on an outdoor restaurant patio in Coquitlam this year, you’re in luck.
This week, city council extended its Temporary Outdoor Space Expansion Program for the current 38 eateries, bars and pubs enrolled in the initiative to continue until June 1, 2022.
The program was set to end on Sunday (Oct. 31); however, the provincial government recently allowed local governments to stretch their programs for seven more months.
There are no extra costs for the participating businesses and there’s no need for them to reapply (the fee to have a temporary patio is $85, with a two-day processing turnaround).
And business owners and operators can still apply for a patio licence before next June, Don Luymes, Coquitlam’s general manager of planning and development, told council on Oct. 25.
Still, city staff will look at how to make the outdoor patio program permanent.
Last month, Port Coquitlam council asked staff to formalize its temporary outdoor spaces program — making it one of the first Metro Vancouver communities to implement the initiative year round.
Started last May as a way to boost the economy during the pandemic, the Temporary Outdoor Space Program aims to provide more room to serve customers — not add capacity.
Among the Coquitlam businesses that are participating in the patio program are the Cactus Club, Me ’n Eds, Woody’s, Coffee and Vanilla, High Street Pizza and Titi Home Made Food.
“It’s been a good program but it’s more of a seasonal program,” Coun. Brent Asmundson said, adding that most patios are on private parking lots.
Asked by Coun. Trish Mandewo about the cleanliness of outdoor patios during the wet months, Luymes said city staff can warn and/or fine operators for unsightly premises under city bylaws.
- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News