City of Vernon councillors approved an extension to the on-street parking patio program for businesses until Oct. 31, 2020. Sweet Hoopla is one of the few businesses that extended their commercial operations into one on-street parking space in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions. (Sweet Hoopla - Facebook)

Patio season extended in Vernon

City council approves extension on COVID-19 recovery measure until Halloween

Patio season will last a little longer in Vernon after city councillors voted to extend permissions to utilize one on-street parking space until Halloween.

The City of Vernon first waived the need for permits of fees to allow for businesses to expand their patios and other commercial activity into on-street parking in late May as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This measure addressed limitations on patrons allowed inside due to required physical distancing among other provincially ordered health measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At the regular meeting Monday, Sept. 28, council voted to extend permissions for businesses in the Primary and Secondary Business Improvement Areas to keep patios in place until Oct. 31.

Businesses with private off-street parking lots were also approved to temporarily expand their commercial use into up to 25 per cent of the lot.

A report to council said few businesses took advantage of the on-street parking patio option. City staff noted one parking lot patio, four sidewalk patios and only one on-street parking space patio were put in place.

Two additional parking lot patios were done in advance of the program approved May 25, as they met all bylaw requirements.

City staff is speaking out with businesses that used the patio expansion program to determine their interest. A full report will return to council ahead of the Oct. 13 meeting.

In Kelowna, Bernard Avenue was closed to vehicle traffic between St. Paul Street to the Sails statue June 29 through Sept. 8.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

READ MORE: Found walker turned into Vernon police


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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