A new West Lincoln bylaw allows restaurants to temporarily open patios regardless of existing zoning laws for the duration of the year, to help boost the local economy.
The bylaw suspends current zoning regulations and provisions to allow patio expansion as long as it is approved by city officials. This means that restaurants can expand patio space into required parking spaces or other areas affected by current zoning provisions.
This decision came during a city council meeting on July 27. Councilman Harold Jonker of Ward 2 (Gainsborough) presented the regulation and the council voted unanimously in favour of the new by-law.
Mayor Dave Bylsma said: “This is a nice little shot in the arm for our local establishments in order to get them a support method to keep their businesses alive.”
The bylaw supports the province’s COVID-19 recovery framework. Some restaurants may not have the capacity to ensure proper social distancing measures inside the building or in current patio spaces. Patio expansions can help meet these requirements, allowing establishments to reopen without hindering the safety of staff and customers.
The West Lincoln bylaw follows Grimsby’s effort to expand patios onto sidewalks in the town’s downtown strip.