The District of Kitimat is attempting to make things easier for restaurants trying to adapt to the new circuit breaker guidelines which suspended all indoor dining and liquor sales.
Last year, the council reduced fees by 50% for those wishing to use district lands for outdoor service, but no one took up the offer for restaurants.
During Kitimat’s committee of the whole meeting, council approved that commercial use patios on public lands policy fees be waived for 2021, allowing restaurants to pop up patios for free.
Originally $250 per season and $250 per parking stall made unusable, council believes that waiving the public lands policy fees in 2021 is necessary, considering the additional restrictions that took place on March 30th.
“In light of how hard our restaurants are getting hit right now, we should be doing 100% waiving,” said councillor Gibson talking in favour of waiving all public land policy fees in 2021.
“The pandemic has been extremely tough for all of us, including our local restaurants, which have experienced more than their fair share of surprises and challenges,” said Mayor Germuth in a statement to the Northern Sentinel. “Waiving patio fees is one of the many moves that our Council has made to support local businesses through these challenging times.”
Though the council has approved a relaxation of rules, these short-term measures in response to COVID will be determined on an individual basis.
Meaning, patios must complement the architectural style and colours of the neighbouring buildings and businesses in order to meet the downtown design guideline.