Pop-up patios should appear on Edmonton sidewalks with a bit more ease next spring, as city staff is working to change some policies regarding sidewalk cafes.
Suggestions to speed up the licencing process, as well as increase options, were before a council committee Wednesday.
“I think it’s good they’re planning on being more of a facilitator,” said Coun. Ben Henderson. “Up until now, tolerance has been low.”
Changes include a minor and major application stream depending on the size of the patio, with likely a one-week approval timeline as opposed to months.
It is also possible, on a case-by-case basis, to reduce or eliminate some parking requirements, as well as actually use on-street parking to accommodate sidewalk cafes.
Heaters and the option to be open through the winter will also be explored, said Henderson.
“There are some things in other cities that are just not happening here because we have been saying no to them,” he added.
Discussions will also be had with the City of Calgary about approaching the province regarding AGLC rules that limit some options.
While that may take longer, Mayor Stephen Mandel said it should be “bing, bang, bong” for coffee shops to put out “two tables and some chairs.”
“This seems to be pretty simple and I don’t know why it wasn’t done 10 years ago.”
Mobile food changes
- Stakeholder consultation is set to begin for improvements to the city’s street vending program in time for the 2013 season, due to the growing number of vendors (225 permits issued between Jan. 1 and Aug. 3, including for 26 food trucks).
- Focuses include vendor-business conflicts, loosening up on locations, extending time restrictions, allowing tables and chairs, and clarity around permit issuance.