City of Calgary will allow temporary patios in first stage of coronavirus relaunch

This pop-up parklet sprang to life in the community of Marda Loop as a result of the work done by the local BIA. LIVEWIRE CALGARY FILE PHOTO

Restaurants and bars around Calgary will be able to open patio areas into public spaces to increase capacity in anticipation of Calgary’s stage one coronavirus re-opening on May 14. 

Councillors approved the proposal Monday during a Strategic Meeting of Council, where they reviewed an administration proposal on the openings of local restaurants and bars. 

Documents released during council meeting outlined what local business can expect with opening patio spaces.

“A temporary permission will be issued at no cost for temporary patios. Existing patios on public lands will not be charged for the 2020 season,” the documents read.

Most Calgary restaurants and bars are available to re-open on May 14 with a temporary patio to accommodate social distancing and health regulations. That’s when the province’s Stage one relaunch begins.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said even though restaurants can open, they’re to do so at 50 per cent capacity.

“It might be hard to make some money,” he said 

“And so this allows you to have more capacity, while adhering to physical distancing moving to outdoors, which might be a bit safer.”

Proposals for pop-up patios to show how space will be used

Calgary city roads representative John Bolger said that patios could be extending into the public parking and community spaces to better accommodate businesses with reduced space.

“Business will apply for approval and we will determine whether or not they can extend into public right of way spaces,” he said

“Applicants are required to provide the number of tables and chairs they will be using and delineate how this space will be used.”

Bolger added that business that require public space will need to outline how the they will protect public accessibility and satisfy Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (ALGC) requirements.

From then, applications will be submitted to AGLC for approval before any temporary patio can be established.

Bolger also commented that audio and televisions will not be allowed on temporary patio spaces. 

“Our existing rules, I believe don’t allow for audio on patios,” he said 

Coun. Druh Farrell said parking should be there to service businesses, not the other way around.

“If a local neighbourhood is dying, and the local shops are dying then there really isn’t a lot of parking revenue anyway,” she said 

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