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Merchants can apply for patio expansion program

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 3:35 PDT, Wed August 5, 2020

A number of Richmond’s food vendors have benefitted from the temporary outdoor patio program, and now the city is extending the offer to other businesses—initially only in Steveston.

If the Steveston pilot project is successful, it may be offered in other parts of Richmond, says city spokesperson Clay Adams.

An expedited application process has allowed at least 11 restaurants, cafés and pubs around the city to create temporary patio spaces. August street closures in Steveston may result in more pedestrians in the area, so city representatives are calling on Steveston businesses to take advantage of the temporary space expansion.

“Steveston is one of the most popular—and famous—areas of Richmond and attracts thousands of locals and visitors during August,” says Adams. “The street changes are aimed at creating a safer environment and we encourage people to visit Steveston to take in the many tourist-friendly locations, shops and eateries during the warm summer weather—just do it safely and be respectful of others.”

Temporary outdoor patio spaces are allowed on private property including private parking spaces or vehicle lanes, as well as public spaces like sidewalks with permission from the city. With Bayview and Moncton streets both open only one-way to vehicles, more space beyond the sidewalk is open for merchants to display items for sale, set up booths or other promotional material. 

Businesses can apply to use space this way through the temporary patio expansion permit process, already made available for restaurants and other food service establishments.

“So far, no merchants have applied for a permit but it is still early and we have more promotion to do among the businesses,” says Adams.

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