Province patio extension means Oak Bay eateries enjoy outdoor spaces to 2023

District plans to develop a permitting process ahead of the 2023 deadline

Guests sit on the patio of the Penny Farthing and Vis a Vis using former parking spots along Oak Bay Avenue. Council extended the temporary pilot project in line with the province’s extension to March 2023. (Black Press Media file photo)

Guests sit on the patio of the Penny Farthing and Vis a Vis using former parking spots along Oak Bay Avenue. Council extended the temporary pilot project in line with the province’s extension to March 2023. (Black Press Media file photo)

Parking lot patios in Oak Bay are here to stay – at least to next spring.

Hot on the heels of the provincial decision to extend its allowance, Oak Bay council quickly contemplated a report from its staff on April 11.

The pop-up street and sidewalk patios emerged early in the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses took advantage of a provincial plan that allowed businesses to follow a temporary permitting process to expand operational footprints and offer food and liquor services on public property.

READ ALSO: B.C. extends pandemic patio program until next spring as summer season looms

Businesses on The Avenue and in Estevan Village invested in patio infrastructure filling roadside parking spaces and some sidewalk areas with restaurant seating.

Many municipalities, including Oak Bay, tied allowances to provincial regulations. It has been extended multiple times with the latest coming April 7.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay News readers respond to on-street patio dining

The province’s temporary expanded service areas program was set to expire on June 1, but the program was extended until March 31, 2023, for businesses with existing authorizations.

Oak Bay also plans to issue a request for proposals for a consultant to help develop a permitting process that could be put in place prior to the 2023 deadline.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay eateries share communal patio space in Estevan Village

What do you think of the parking patios in Oak Bay? Email c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca.


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