Mayor wants to see patio expansion in Vancouver

July 3, 2013 | Arts and Culture

Mayor Gregor Robertson announced today that he will be asking staff to review how the City can best enable new patio space and extend patio hours in appropriate areas across Vancouver.

The Mayor made the announcement in his remarks launching VIVA Vancouver’s 2013 program for more vibrant celebrations and creative activations on Vancouver’s streets. The City currently has 577 patios.

“We’ve been talking to a number of restaurant owners over the last couple of years about continuing to extend patio hours in areas around the city where it makes sense, not just Downtown but city-wide,” said the Mayor. “We need to look at those opportunities to use sidewalk or even street space that the City can offer to restaurants to expand the number of patio seats for our residents and visitors to enjoy. Whether it’s in Gastown or on Granville or in areas like Main Street, it’s important that the City works with local businesses and neighbourhoods to open up public space for public enjoyment, including for restaurants and cafes.”

Your take: Do you support expanding the number of restaurant and café patios in Vancouver, and extending patio hours where appropriate?
>> Respond to the Mayor's Facebook question

UPDATE (July 9): Here's the full text of the Mayor's motion that he just introduced in City Council - it will be up for consideration in two weeks time:

Motion to expand patios in Vancouver

WHEREAS commercial patios are a popular street activation, especially in the summer;

WHEREAS the City has two categories of patio permits, large and small, with large patios typically licensed, and small patios typically a few tables and chairs;

WHEREAS there were 317 large patio permits, and 260 small patio permits, in Vancouver in 2012;

WHEREAS the hours of operation for large patios are 7am to 11pm;

WHEREAS the last review of patio hours and permits was in the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Games, and there has been a consistent demand for more patios in public spaces like plazas and pedestrian-oriented streets;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

That staff work with industry stakeholders and BIAs to identify near-term actions that are revenue neutral to increase patio hours and space for establishments with a track record of good behaviour; AND

That staff report back to Council with recommendations for longer-term policy changes that improve the patio experience, including ways to increase space, extend hours, relax fencing restrictions, provide patio options throughout Vancouver, and improve the efficiency of the patio permit process.