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Port Moody to fast-track outdoor spaces for businesses

Province has already paved the way for pubs, restaurants and breweries to build or expand outdoor patios
While some Port Moody businesses, like Yellow Dog Brewing, already have outdoor patio spaces, others will get their permits fast-tracked to accommodate physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Port Moody businesses looking to temporarily extend their operations to outdoor spaces will have an easier time.

The city has launched an assistance program to expedite the permitting process for the opening of patios, repurposing of street parking and even the temporary use of public spaces like parking lots and sidewalks so physical distancing between customers can be easier to maintain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the city’s parklet program, which normally doesn’t allow any kind of commercial application, is fair game. Although businesses looking to build a parklet would have to foot the entire cost of design and construction, that can run up to $15,000.

Port Moody’s manager of economic development, Joji Kumagai, said the city is open to any and all ideas.

“Tell us what you want to achieve and we’ll work with you on the best way to make it happen.”

With many businesses beginning to reopen under British Columbia’s phased plan for a return to normalcy, regulations and bylaws governing the use of adjoining outdoor spaces are being relaxed. 

The province is allowing pubs, breweries and other licensed establishments to apply for temporary expansion of their patios until Oct. 30. Nearby Port Coquitlam is even offering free construction services by city workers to help build platforms, repaint lines or move street furniture.

Permits for temporary use of outdoor space in Port Moody will be valid until Oct. 31.