New Westminster – With phase two of BC’s Restart Plan underway, New Westminster City Council has endorsed an initiative that allows for an expedited process for restaurant and pub patio extensions and that will see installation of additional parklets throughout the City to support business recovery efforts. Temporary patio extensions will provide businesses with the ability to increase their footprint to meet occupancy loads and serve patrons safely, while also activating the City’s commercial districts and streets.
“As local businesses have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we adapt our existing policies and procedures to support recovery efforts in our city,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Cote. “I’m very encouraged to see how our restaurant and pub sector is adapting to the new normal while contributing to a vibrant people-centred public realm.”
Under current public health guidelines, dine-in food and beverage establishments must adhere to physical distancing rules and limit capacity to 50%. In addition to providing much-needed assistance to the City’s restaurant and pubs, this initiative supports the City’s transportation and climate action goals, which includes reallocation of “car space” to create “people space” for the community to safely move, wait, and dine. Staff have worked with local business stakeholders to identify potential parklet locations throughout the city that transform on-street parking stalls into comfortable places for people to sit, socialize and enjoy takeaway food purchased from local establishments. For those restaurants wishing to expand their seating through a patio extension, the City’s expedited process for applying for and installing a patio extension is consistent with recent changes by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. Those changes provide for expedited authorization of expanded service areas for restaurants and pubs on a temporary basis until October 31.
“COVID-19 has presented our business community with unprecedented challenges,” said Blair Fryer, Manager of Economic Development and Communications. “This initiative directly responds to a need for local restaurants and pubs to increase their footprint to meet public health guidelines, which in turn provides an important boost to their recovery efforts.”
Restaurants and pubs wishing to take advantage of the expedited patio extension process can download guidelines and an application form here: https://www.newwestcity.ca/business_licences.php#sidewalk-and-on-street-patios or may request by email at:
To learn more about the City’s recovery efforts and learn more about available COVID-19 resources for business, please visit www.newwestcity.ca/covid-business.
Blair Fryer, Manager of Economic Development and Communications