Outdoor/sidewalk patio information and criteria for restaurants in Spruce Grove

May 21, 2020

With the phase 1 re-launch guidelines issued by the Government of Alberta on May 14, 2020, cafes and restaurants can re-open for the public at 50 per cent seating capacity assuming that physical distancing and other public hygiene protocols are followed. For more information on these protocols, visit www.alberta.ca/bizconnect .

The City will temporarily relax its regulations affecting outdoor/sidewalk patios for the 2020 season so that restaurants can expand the amount of seating available for their customers while remaining within the 50 per cent capacity limit (patios must meet the City’s criteria). These changes are intended to assist the economic recovery of restaurants that closed due to COVID-19.    

Restaurant owners considering establishing or expanding an outdoor/sidewalk patio should contact the City’s Planning and Development department prior to starting construction at 780-962-7582 or email permits@sprucegrove.org .

Criteria for outdoor/sidewalk patios on public property (including parking spaces):

  • A temporary Licence of Occupation is required to provide for approval of improvements, to protect pedestrian accessibility, insurance and indemnification of the City. No fee for the preparation of the Licence of Occupation will be charged.
  • Any request for a patio on public property must be accompanied with a site plan that demonstrates:
    • That the patio set up will accommodate an accessible, clear pedestrian pathway and meet provincial re-launch regulations for restaurants (i.e., seating areas and aisles will maintain 2 metres physical distancing).
    • How the drainage from the site will be accommodated.
    • Any existing street furnishing that will need to be relocated.
    • Any physical barriers necessary to ensure public safety, including but not be limited to perimeter fencing.
  • Patio areas will only be considered on the area immediately in front of an approved eating and drinking establishment.
  • Patio areas must be setback at least 1.5 metres from a driveway apron that allows for vehicle access.
  • Patio areas may only be constructed on the sidewalk in front of the subject business and may only be considered for a space as wide as the establishment frontage. Exceptions to the width may be considered if supported in writing by affected adjoining landlords and tenants. In the event there is not enough room on the sidewalk to set up an outdoor patio, conversion of the parking spaces in front of the eating establishment for patio use may be considered. Any patio to be considered in street parking stalls must be accompanied by a letter of support from the City Centre Business Association, if located in the City Centre, or from adjacent businesses if located in other districts.
  • Patio areas must be constructed in accordance with the Safety Codes Act and Alberta Fire Code. Permits may be required and applications fees will be applicable.

Criteria for outdoor/sidewalk patios on private property:

  • A development permit (permitted accessory use) is required. These permits will be fast tracked as much as possible and no development permit fee will be charged.
  • A development permit application must be accompanied with a letter of authorization from the landowner on the Land Title.
  • Considerations for development permit applications:
    • Location of the patio must not interfere with pedestrian or vehicle traffic on the site, along with any safety barriers including but not limited to perimeter fencing.
    • Where a site can accommodate a small area in front of the storefront, impact on adjacent businesses would have to be considered for access, noise and visibility.
    • Where a temporary patio can be accommodated in on-site parking stalls, an evaluation of the site would be needed to determine if it affects the required parking on the site. Recalculation of parking requirements on a temporary basis depending on the capacity allowed for the restaurant. Where approval is given for seasonal garden centres in parking stalls, a similar approach could be used.
    • The patio set up must accommodate an accessible, clear pedestrian pathway and meet provincial re-launch regulations for restaurants (i.e., seating areas and aisles must maintain physical distancing).
  • The patio area must be constructed in accordance with the Safety Codes Act and Alberta Fire Code. Permits may be required and applications fees will be applicable.