City extends temporary patio program to Oct. 2022

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Council voted to extend the City’s temporary Patio program to October 31st, 2022, on Mon…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Council voted to extend the City’s temporary Patio program to October 31st, 2022, on Monday.

“The intent of this program was to help businesses maximize operations while being able to follow the public health orders and maintain social distancing requirements for their customers during the pandemic,” says a September 13th report for council.

The program was implemented in 2020, with only one business participating. Once the circuit breaker restrictions were announced in the spring, the City had 15 additional businesses approved for temporary patios.

A few of the businesses were approved but never constructed the patio area. To date, six patios under the program remain active.

“For businesses that used the program, some added picnic tables and simple strings of lighting. In other areas, wind breaks or tents with divided sections for tables were added. It was all dependent on the needs of the businesses as they required to serve their patrons.”

On average, the turnaround time on applications for the temporary patios was one business day, and the service was free of charge.

The Province announced an extension on its Temporary Expanded Service Area Authorization (TESA) to June 1st, 2022, and has allowed participants to make their patios permanent. The TESA allowed liquor primary establishments to temporarily expand their liquor service areas.

“The City, in an effort to support local businesses, researched and adopted a temporary patio and retail expansion area program and then implemented it for all businesses,” says the report.

New applications for TESA’s will be accepted until October 31st when the program was initially set to expire.

Participants in the program will be able to apply to make the space permanent following the necessary development regulations and permits.

“For instance, if a business wants to enclose a temporary patio area to make it permanent, the business may also need to apply for a Development Area Permit and Building Permit, along with applicable zoning regulations such as setbacks.”

The report can be viewed below:

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