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Expanded patio space process to be simplified, expedited

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:06 PDT, Fri May 22, 2020

Help is on the way for the hospitality sector.

The province announced this week that restaurants and pubs can temporarily expand their service areas, including patios.

“This pandemic has hit our hospitality sector hard. Our government has been working with industry on ways to support the more than 180,000 British Columbians who work in pubs, restaurants and other parts of the sector,” said Attorney General David Eby. “Speeding up the (application) process will help restaurants, pubs, breweries and other licensees, and give British Columbians more options for safely eating out this summer, while continuing to follow (provincial health officer) Dr. (Bonnie) Henry’s directions.”

Food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as wineries, breweries and distilleries, can apply through a simplified online process to temporarily expand their service areas until Oct. 31.

Temporary authorizations are focused on expanding a licensed service area’s footprint only and will not permit an increase in an establishment’s overall occupancy. Licensees must comply with all local bylaws and liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees must also receive the approval of their local government.

There are no fees associated with the temporary expansion applications. They will be reviewed in the order they are received, using an expedited approval process for faster processing times. While there will not be a site inspection prior to approval of the permit, inspectors will conduct regular compliance inspections.

Read the liquor and cannabis regulation branch’s policy directive here.

Submit an application for a temporary service area expansion click.

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