Calgary patio extension program made permanent by city council

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Businesses looking to continue putting out seasonal patios in Calgary got a green light on a permanent program from city council.

On Wednesday afternoon, council unanimously voted in favour to have administration make the program allowing for expanded patios available for years to come.

But the notice of motion from outgoing Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley addressed accessibility issues and secured city funding to waive permit and associated fees.

“We’ve seen these temporary, pop-up patios be unbelievably successful,” Woolley told Global News. “This (decision) will make (patio extensions) a permanent fixture in our city during patio season.

“We know that in the summertime, there’s less cars on the road,” the Ward 8 representative said. “We know that our capacity on our roads through COVID has allowed us to this space.

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“It’s been unbelievably popular with citizens, and has been unbelievably helpful in businesses making more money.”

Instead of the extra patio space taking up the sidewalks, in 2022 patios will be placed in the curb lane in front of the business, helping the patios and sidewalks stick to accessibility standards.

“All future patios will have to be on the street so that the sidewalk will remain broadly open,” Woolley said. “We actually saw the nicer patios… were the ones that were along the street. And so that means we can hopefully see the removal of those orange barriers.”

The Beltline Urban Mural Project had nine city artists paint concrete barriers for a more permanent replacement for orange plastic barriers that were used early in the temporary patio program.

City administration has also been directed by council to subsidize fees for things like street use and lane closures.

In 2020, 116 temporary patios were set up. This year, that number increased to 208 active patio extensions.

 'Calgary city council votes to improve accessibility issues around Calgary pop-up patios' 1:51 Calgary city council votes to improve accessibility issues around Calgary pop-up patios

Calgary city council votes to improve accessibility issues around Calgary pop-up patios – Jun 22, 2021

“Over the years, you’ve seen people — particularly on some of those popular patio spots — having to wait in line to get a patio spot on a patio on a hot Saturday afternoon. And this will create a significant amount of capacity.”

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Woolley said he expected patio extensions set up for 2022 and beyond could be set up in the shoulder seasons as well as the summer.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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