The loosening of rules surrounding patios will continue in Bracebridge for the time being.
During the latest Bracebridge Planning and Development Committee, councillors agreed to continue with less restrictive patio rules that came into effect in response to the covid pandemic.
In June of 2020, the Province of Ontario relaxed rules under the Liquor License Act for bars and restaurants to temporarily extend their premises.
The Town of Bracebridge quickly followed suit, approving the installation of patios for restaurants. That included waiving administrative fees and exempting patios from site plan control and zoning regulations. The agreements were subject to consultation with the Director of Planning and Development and the agreement of the landowners/businesses with respect to safety, accessibility and functionality of a site.
According to Town staff, 10 businesses applied for the exemption and were approved.
Councillor Rick Maloney favoured the extension but had concerns with patrons waiting on the narrower, newly created sidewalk creating something of a “pinch point” for pedestrian traffic.
Staff indicated they would attempt to address the problem in discussions with the various business owners.
Mayor Gaydon Smith said the issue of patio regulation had been an ongoing one at the Town level pre-pandemic, and the moves were a step in the right direction.
“The less burdensome the better,” he said.
The motion passed unanimously.
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