Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Outdoor patios on municipal property being considered

Chatham-Kent administration have been authorized by Council to follow an ‘expression of interest’ process to determine the demand from businesses and communities across Chatham-Kent, to establish temporary outdoor patios located on municipal property.

Council voted in support of this recommendation by staff, along with guidelines for temporary patios installed on private property during Monday night’s, June 15, electronic Council meeting.

“In order to open in Chatham-Kent, businesses must comply with guidelines provided by the municipality of Chatham-Kent, Chatham-Kent Public Health and the AGCO regarding size, occupancy and health regulations,” Municipal officials said in a press release.

“As per decisions handed down by the provincial government and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), Chatham-Kent businesses that serve food and beverages will be allowed to open outdoor seating on site, effective June 12.”

Municipal officials addded: “In order to open in Chatham-Kent, businesses must comply with guidelines provided by the municipality of Chatham-Kent, Chatham-Kent Public Health and the ACGO regarding size, occupancy and health regulations.”

In order to facilitate the June 12 opening, patrons are limited to the patios unless they require use of washroom facilities or are paying their bill, Municipal officials say.

“No new municipal permits will be required for existing businesses to operate patios on private property,” Municipal officials added.

Staff said in a report to Council that there was positive support across the community for the expanded patio regulations.

“A range of restaurants and licensed establishments across the community were consulted by Economic Development & the Small Business Centre regarding their desire for expanded patio and outdoor space in 2020,” a staff report indicates.

“The response was overwhelmingly positive… a total of 43 businesses across 10 communities in CK were consulted. Of the 42 businesses that responded, 100% expressed support for measures to expand their patio and outdoor spaces. Further, 11 Chambers of Commerce, BIAs and Business Associations were consulted and of the eight that responded, 100% were fully supportive of measures to expand outdoor patio space.”

The decision made on Monday night by Council is, at the time, a temporary measure for 2020.

“The actions and measured outlined in this report are targeted to supporting economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and support the implementation of temporary outdoor patios in Chatham-Kent in 2020,” a staff report indicates.

“Beyond 2020, if there is demand from the business community to make outdoor patio options on public and/or private property a more permanent feature of the Chatham-Kent landscape, zoning regulations and bylaws will require review and amendment. A report would be brought back to Council for review and approval, if needed, at that time.”

The full report can be read, here.

For more information contact Paul Lacina, director of building development services. by calling 519-360-1998 or emailing paull@chatham-kent.ca.

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