Let patio season begin.
Bars and restaurants in Whitehorse now have more patio options after Whitehorse city council passed third reading on a bylaw that allows for pop-up patios.
The bylaw passed at council’s May 25 meeting allows pop-up patios downtown in city parking spots as well as sidewalks (where they can already be permitted).
The bylaw was initially brought forward as a COVID-relief measure on May 3, just a couple of days before it was announced by the Yukon government that restaurants and bars would be able to move back to full capacity after May 25.
Despite capacity rules now being relaxed, the bylaw will go ahead.
The idea had come forward last year, but it would have been too late in the season by the time it would have been adopted. Instead, changes were brought forward this year in time for the summer season.
As Coun. Steve Roddick commented before the vote, the change was a good idea last year and continues to be a good idea this year, the city to use roadways in “innovative ways.”
Roddick indicated he still has concerns around some of the costs to business owners applying to put in a patio under the new bylaw, such as bagged meter fees, permit costs and others, but noted his overall support for the bylaw.
Under the bylaw, eating and drinking establishments looking to add a pop-up patio will be required to get a development permit as well as pass an inspection and have $5-million liability insurance.
The sites would allow eating and drinking establishments to place tables and chairs in three angled parking stalls or two parallel stalls with a six metre separation from the outer edge of the patio to the inside limit of the traffic lane.
Partitions will also be required to separate the area from traffic and those using the sidewalk.
Businesses will be required to apply each year to have the patios and adhere to the current rules of the program.
The city will be reviewing how the bylaw worked at the end of the summer and could make changes for the 2022 season.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com