More downtown patios envisioned with Town plan

Expect to see a few more outdoor “eating spaces” downtown this summer season as the Town of Osoyoos gets to work on its Town Centre Renewal Plan.

Town Council this morning will be asked by administration for instruction to tweak an existing Sidewalk Use Policy to allow for downtown restaurant operators to establish patios in front of their businesses.

“A review of the current policy has identified that the policy would benefit from a refresh,” writes senior planner Don McArthur in a report to Council.

“Staff propose to revise the current Policy and amend the [traffic bylaw] to enable the establishment of a limited number of patios in the Town Centre.”

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Currently, only four small tables are permitted. The planning team envisions larger outdoor spaces accompanied by a 1.5-metre pedestrian walk zone (or treadway) that would be maintained by the restaurant.

The treadway would be enclosed within a fence and detour the sidewalk into parking spaces in front of the restaurant.

“Those parking spaces could then be utilized by small cars, bicycles or motorcycles,” Mr. McArthur explains. “In order to maintain sufficient parking, the number of patios that require use of parking stalls will be limited by the revised Policy.

“Additionally, there is a plan to install wayfinding to direct visitors to existing parking lots on 74th and 78th Avenues, which are not currently used to capacity.”

The creation of sidewalk patios was one of the recommendations of the town centre development plan proposed last fall. Other improvements include a street plaza, a new community landmark, a parklette patio and conversation corners.

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