Vancouver City Council has approved a new annual summer patio program, which will launch in spring 2022 as an evolution of the Temporary Expedited Patio Program (TEPP) it ran this summer.
A news release explains the new program will apply to both private and public property and will run from April 1 to October 31 each year. It will allow for increased occupancy for restaurants during the summer and continued use of curbside patios on city streets.
Breweries and distilleries will also be eligible to apply for outdoor patio space under the new program.
This summer’s TEPP has issued nearly 700 permits, helping bars and restaurants safely welcome customers through the pandemic while maintaining physical distancing.
“The temporary expedited patio program introduced at the height of COVID-19 not only supported small businesses and kept people safe, it created a new and vibrant summer patio culture across our city,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Today, we’re building on that success with a new annual summer patio program and ensuring residents and visitors can look forward to this new summer tradition for years to come.”
Restaurants will be able to apply via a central application website and the City says it expects applications will be reviewed within a matter of weeks.
The City does note that some exemptions may apply. For example, limited food establishments without public washrooms may be restricted from summer patios given their occupant capacity, or patios on some arterial streets may not be viable as traffic volumes resume.
For an application to be approved, businesses must follow and meet all requirements and adhere to the patio layout drawings which will be available on vancouver.ca in the coming weeks.