Temporary Patio Space Program returns

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Applications are open and Airdrie businesses can once again look at temporary utilizing outdoor spaces when the Temporary Outdoor Patio and Retail Sales Space Program returns on April 15.

The program is returning from last year, but is coming a lot sooner than 2020’s June start. With applications currently being accepted, some businesses may be accommodating outdoor patrons by the end of the week.

It’s up to individual businesses to apply for the temporary outdoor space, and Rebecca Nielsen, Economic Development Officer at the City of Airdrie, said the program will look much the same as last year.

“It might be on sidewalk space, or even possibly using some parking stalls, just depending on the setup of that particular restaurant,” said Nielsen.

Nielsen said that no roads will be closed to allow for outdoor spaces, and there is a checklist of requirements for approval.

A clear pedestrian path of two metres in width has to be maintained at all time, and dining areas are required to have six feet of distance between tables.


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The outdoor spaces must also be wheelchair accessible, and patio spaces are expected to close by 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Some business may be able to take advantage of up to 50 per cent of their parking spaces to use as outdoor space as well if they meet the requirements.

Neilsen said the goal of including parking spaces was to accommodate more businesses with the program.

“There certainly are situations where we’ve got a restaurant who fronts a sidewalk that would not accommodate a patio. That’s why we did have the option included to possibly include parking spaces—just so we were opening as many options as possible for those restaurants,” she said.

She added that there’s no cost associated with applying for the program.

“This is one of the initiatives we brought forward to assist businesses in light of COVID-19, so there is no cost associated,” she said.

Unfortunately the location of some businesses will make the program unavailable because of the requirements set out by the City, said Nielsen.

Restaurants will also have to ensure that they’re adhering to proper guidelines, such as AGLC regulations if they serve alcohol.

The program may serve as a small but timely relief for restaurants after the province once again prohibited indoor dining on April 9.

Outdoor patio dining is still allowed for groups of up to six people as long as parties are separated by six feet.

Nielsen said the City of Airdrie’s Economic Development department is open to talk to any businesses who have questions about the program, and they can get in touch by calling 403-948-8844.

The application form which details all the requirements to gain temporary outdoor space can be found online at www.airdrie.ca/getDocument.cfm?ID=8636.

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