New patio guidelines aimed at helping Courtenay restaurants

New patio guidelines aimed at helping Courtenay restaurants

City trying to expand outdoor options for hospitality industry

Courtenay council has endorsed some changes to a downtown sidewalk patio program, which establishes guidelines for sidewalk seating areas at businesses.

Two types of patios had been allowed. A change in the program will allow for a third type within on-street parking stalls.

Other changes will allow translucent plastic shields to be installed on top of patio fencing.

The intent is to allow enough space for restaurants to maintain enough seats to make them viable.

Increasing flexibility for patio types and sizes is one of the requests of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, which appealed to council to support the economic recovery of pubs, restaurants and hotels.

Coun. Manno Theos, who spent most of his adult life working in the food service industry, said the industry generally runs at about a five per cent profit margin.

“This is going to be extremely trying times,” Theos said at the May 19 meeting. “Realistically, I cannot see how a profit can be made at this point. There are going to be significant challenges. As we are well aware, we are going to have to step up to the plate to make these businesses survive.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, the association illustrated the “collective economic disruption” with the following facts:

•Job losses within the restaurant sector alone are estimated at 121,500.

•At least one in 10 restaurants have already closed forever with associated permanent job losses.

•Over 50 per cent of smaller independent restaurants say they will be bankrupt within three months from the start of this crisis (i.e. by June of this year).

•80 per cent of B.C.’s hospitality businesses have been forced to temporarily lay off most of B.C.’s 192,000 foodservice employees.

•80 per cent of pubs, bars and nightclubs are closed.

•More than 70 per cent of B.C.’s hotels are closed.

•More than 250,000 hospitality and tourism workers have been laid off in B.C. since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

Ace approval

Council approved Ace Brewing’s application to construct a patio at its premises at 150 Mansfield Dr. Conditions include closing by 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Music is not to be played outside after 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, or after 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The application drew mixed reviews from area residents. Coun. Doug Hillian notes the proponent has devised strategies to mitigate noise impacts, such as installing vegetation to dampen some of the sounds.

The patio will seat up to 68 people.

Parklet Program

Council approved a resolution from Will Cole-Hamilton for staff to provide a feasibility report about a parklet program for downtown Courtenay. A parklet is defined as a small seating area or green space created as a public amenity on or alongside a sidewalk, especially in a former roadside parking space. The idea is to revitalize downtown, and to enable social distancing.

Just Posted

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)
Home in Cedar destroyed by fire

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong winds Sunday

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Public to avoid the wooded areas around Queneesh Elementary

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has reopened with 45 shelter spots for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. (Courtesy of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre)
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre shelter in Victoria reopens with spots for 45 people

Arena is an interim step until long-term housing is found

Visitors relax at the natural hot springs located within Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. (tofinohiking.com photo)
Maquinna Marine Provincial Park boardwalk project on track

“The walk down the two-kilometre boardwalk to the springs itself is by far one of the most incredible experiences.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Most Read