Calgary helps businesses get ready for patio season
by Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
As spring comes to fruition in Calgary, restaurant and community patios will be popping up across the city. In response to this, Calgary has waived fees for the application of patio permits for businesses and has also added recommendations for businesses on the size and design of their patios.
According to Erin Chrusch, the acting lead for Business and Local Economy of Calgary, the city has decided on these actions because many businesses are still transitioning, possibly from the challenges of the pandemic.
Aside from the waiving of fees, businesses can now establish their seasonal or temporary patios in the parking or curbside lane close to their locations. This is in response to concerns from local businesses over the past two years. Establishing the patios in these areas will also make way for the pedestrian sidewalk to be unobstructed for accessibility.
On the other hand, patios that are located on sidewalks must have a minimum clearance of two metres at all times to allow for public passage. According to the city, this recommendation “aligns with best practices for patios and accessibility, removes obstructive pedestrian detours and allows businesses to flex their design and aesthetic muscles when planning an outdoor patio.”
When it comes to patios on private property, a development permit is needed where it has a 21-day appeal period. Anyone who has an existing patio with an approved development permit does not need to have their permits renewed unless they want to increase the size of the existing patio. In this case, they have to submit an updated application. The city also recommends that if the patio will be on “private property or spans over private and public property,” a pre-application meeting with them is encouraged but not always necessary.
The city recommends that evaluating your location in terms of pedestrian safety and accessibility is the best way to know if a seasonal patio can be established on it and also if the maintenance of the patio can adhere to the conditions of the permit including requirements from Alberta Health and Occupational Health and Safety.