Friday, June 29, 2012

Patios set to “pop up” throughout Calgary

A new, streamlined application process for "pop-up patios" means Calgarians will be seeing more unique street-level cafes throughout the city. With a proper permit, these temporary sidewalk cafes safely extend existing cafes onto city sidewalks or parking lots adjacent to a cafe.

"Businesses and their customers want more outdoor patios to enjoy the best of our weather while at a cafe," said Ward 7 Alderman Druh Farrell. "And temporary patios are an easy and cost effective way to increase vibrancy in our communities."

Previously, these types of outdoor cafes were not clearly defined and it was difficult to determine the appropriate permit and process required to set one up. The new system clearly describes the types of pop-up patios available and actions required to obtain a development permit or licence of occupation. The new system also includes support for the business owner as they move through the process.

"We knew it was possible to simplify the process and make this easier for our customers," said Mark Sasges, Chief Development Planner with Development & Building Approvals at The City of Calgary. "We're working hard to take this approach with many of our existing permit processes, and the positive response we're receiving from businesses lets us know we're on the right track."

Andy Fennell, owner of Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar in Inglewood, is preparing to open his pop-up patio next week.

"I was surprised that all we needed was a Licence of Occupation," said Fennell. "I thought this was going to be more complicated than that and wasn't even sure I would get approval in time for this year; now I hope to have my patio opened just in time for Stampede."

"Even small initiatives like this can make big differences for our local businesses, their customers, and our neighbourhoods," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "Much like what we did to help bring food trucks to Calgary, we brought together everyone who could help cut red tape and make this happen.”

Currently, there are five types of outdoor cafes including patios that can be on a sidewalk, curb lane, or public or private parking stalls.

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