Kitchener extends Patio Extension Program to end of March
The City of Kitchener has extended its Patio Expansion Program until March 31, 2022 but not before some businesses raised concerns about feeling left out.
In the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions, indoor dining has been halted for at least three weeks, but patios are allowed to reopen during the winter.
Close to 100 patios in Kitchener operated through the expansion program.
Kitchener launched the patio expansion program in 2020 as an initiative to help speed up approvals for new or expanded temporary outdoor patios.
City officials said they're listening and, after hearing from several businesses, they decided to change the rules.
“The city, through our licensing department, will be able to extend the 2021 provisions through until the end of March,” said Darren Becks, manager of downtown development.
The owner of Counterpoint Brewing Company said he is grateful the city has decided to extend the program.
“I think during the winter we will do a case by case depending on the weather,” said Graeme Kobayashi.
Business owners who operated an expanded patio in 2021 and want to make use of it this winter must contact the city first to make sure the footprint and layout has not changed and to ensure it will be operating in compliance with all health and safety codes.
The Uptown Waterloo BIA said the patio program in that city has been extended to the end of 2022.
The CIty of Guelph said its patio program will run from April to October of this year.