Patio season has been extended once again in Vernon as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Vernon first created a Temporary Outdoor Commercial use program this summer which allowed businesses to expand their operations into parking lots, sidewalks and one on-street parking stall. This allowed Vernon businesses to serve more clientele while meeting COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.
The extension, decided on in the Oct. 26 meeting of council, allows downtown businesses to utilize the program until Halloween next year.
Downtown businesses will also be able to use single on-street parking stalls to create pop-up patios or feature retail products in the warmer months between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2021.
Bars and restaurants with liquor licences will be pre-approved to have their licences extended into these makeshift patio spaces until the Halloween deadline.
“Through the Temporary Outdoor Commercial Use program, the city is helping our community maintain physical distancing,” Mayor Victor Cumming said. “This program extension will also help businesses continue to adapt as we head into the colder months and plan ahead for spring and summer.”
A report to council in September 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.
For more information on the program and its guidelines, visit vernon.ca/covid-19.