For decades, the City of Waterloo has taken a laissez-faire approach to temporary patios that pop up on sidewalks in the uptown core.

That’s about to change. Later this month, the city is set to introduce a set of guidelines to regulate the patios.

Ryan Mounsey, who works in the city’s economic development office, says the city may set out different rules for patios in different parts of the core. Wider sidewalks might allow for larger patios, for example, while different rules might apply along the LRT route than on side streets.

While some sidewalk patios have already sprouted up, the city doesn’t plan to crack down on them before the guidelines are approved.

“If a few patios pop up in the interim, we’ll work with the businesses,” Mounsey said.

The issue is expected to go before councillors on May 29.