Outdoor patios extended until 2022

·2 min read

Don’t be surprised if you see extended patios for a few more years.

Chatham-Kent council has granted an extension for temporary patios. The bylaw and guidelines for the patios installed on private property have been adopted up to Jan. 1, 2022. The existing guidelines were set to end on Jan. 1.

In June, the provincial government allowed restaurants and bars to temporarily extend outdoor patio spaces to accommodate patrons and staff safely. This was a measure adopted to help the service sector cope during the pandemic.

“Over the past six months, the administration worked with many local restaurant and bar owners to establish temporary outdoor patios on private property and on the municipal right-of-way in order to maintain appropriate social distancing, in accordance with public health measures,” stated a staff report.

The report added that “it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue well in 2021”.

“Therefore, it is recommended that temporary outdoor patios be permitted throughout 2021 to provide flexibility,” read the report.

More than 30 business owners installed some type of temporary outdoor patio this year. Staff also worked with 12 business owners to establish temporary patios on the municipal right-of-way.

“Some business owners have noted they may like to invest in constructing a permanent patio in the future on their own property, but they are constrained in doing so because of current regulations in the zoning bylaw,” the report stated.

The report also noted in several cases, the only option to construct a permanent patio would be to use some existing parking spaces.

It was recommended the zoning bylaw be amended so that up to 15 percent of the required and/or existing parking spaces for the main use may be used to construct an outdoor patio. The required number of accessible off-street parking spaces must still be provided.

The required number of accessible off-street parking spaces must still be provided.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News