City streamlines summer patio program thanks to industry feedback
Staff continue to work hard to respond to the needs of small businesses in Vancouver. Thanks to their hard work, I'm confident we'll all be enjoying another successful patio season this year, and for years to come.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart
Vancouver’s busy outdoor patio season is near and we are making improvements to the 2022 Summer Patio Program since applications opened last week. The changes were informed by feedback from the restaurant industry and make it easier for businesses to apply for a permit. They ensure our patio program remains a key part of Vancouver’s business recovery.
“Like everyone, I love our new patio culture and City staff are absolutely committed to helping it thrive. It's important for both COVID economic recovery and building a vibrant city,” says Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Staff continue to work hard to respond to the needs of small businesses in Vancouver. Thanks to their hard work, I'm confident we'll all be enjoying another successful patio season this year, and for years to come.”
Changes to application process
The key changes to simplify the patio application process include:
- Drawing requirements: Drawing requirements have been simplified, so that businesses who previously had a Temporary Expedited Patio Permit (TEPP) and aren’t changing occupancy need only resubmit the same drawing that was part of their TEPP permit. A requirement for new interior drawings has also been eliminated from the application process. In addition, businesses who are applying for the first time or seeking to make a change to their patio from last year, need only to submit an accurate scaled drawing, either by hand or on a computer. To clarify, drawings don’t need to be done by a professional architect.
- Capacity flexibility: Businesses can now transfer up to 50% of their existing capacity from indoors to a patio. This provides much more flexibility in offering outdoor dining options to those patrons who many not yet be comfortable dining indoors.
- Extension of curbside patios in front of neighbouring businesses: For this 2022 summer patio season, and as with TEPP, we will also allow curbside patios to extend across up to one neighbouring business frontage, in either or both directions (similar to TEPP). This change will allow many restaurants to achieve the same patio that they had last year, and make it easier for us to shift patios around utilities, avoid trapped parking spaces, and create loading areas and accessible parking spaces.
“Over the last very difficult two years, the City of Vancouver has been responsive to the needs of the hospitality industry,” says Ian Tostenson, President/CEO, British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association. “Again, City staff and Councillors stood by us to make some last minute but substantial changes to help with this summer’s patio program. A sincere thanks to the City and our partners at the BC Craft Guild and Rising Tide Consultants for coming together to make this happen. This approach will serve us well for the future.”
Temporary Expedited Patio Program
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we created the ground-breaking Temporary Expedited Patio Program, which offered businesses free temporary patio permits to help them quickly adjust to health restrictions and offer safe outdoor dining options. This program was very successful, but temporary. The new Summer Patio Program is the result of Council direction in September 2021 to phase out TEPP and put in place a permanent summer patio program.
Fees apply for all 2022 patio programs to cover administration costs, which include formalized requirements to ensure the patios are safely integrated into our public realm.
We are committed to making patios a part of every summer in Vancouver and staff will continue to work closely with businesses to ensure patio spaces are safe, accessible and ready for the season.