Downtown Vernon businesses will be able to expand operations into on-street parking and private parking lots after council gave the green light May 25, 2020. (File photo)

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Additional patio space for local businesses has been approved by Vernon council in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By allowing businesses to expand commercial activity into on-street parking spaces and in private parking lots, businesses will be able to serve more clientele while maintaining provincially ordered physical distancing.

Council breezed over the topic rapidly during the regular meeting May 25, with a friendly amendment and without the component of reducing speeds in the primary business improvement areas (BIA) to 30 km/h, as requested by Coun. Scott Anderson.

The friendly amendment put forward by Coun. Akbal Mund increased the use of private off-street parking lots from the proposed 25 per cent to 50.

Mund said by doubling the allotment, businesses will be able to actually increase their service area by 25 per cent with appropriate physical distancing measures in place. Had council approved the proposed 25 per cent, that would only see an increase of 12.5 per cent, Mund said.

With the approval granted by council Monday, businesses within the primary and secondary BIAs will be able to expand into one available on-street parking space adjacent to the business between June 1 and Sept. 30 without a permit or fee. Businesses won’t be required to obtain a Sidewalk Boulevard Area Use Permit within those BIAs until Dec. 31, 2020.

A minimum two-metre aisle will be available for pedestrian use.

Vernon council also voted in favour of temporarily expanding liquor service areas until Oct. 31, 2020.

This temporary pre-approval for all liquor establishments within Vernon who may apply for expanded service will allow bars and restaurants to serve liquor in the expanded operational area without additional red tape.

City administration is to report back to council in October with an evaluation of the use of on-street and off-street parking spaces for commercial uses.

The City of Vernon will consult with the Downtown Vernon Association to report back to council in June to offer recommendations on the potential of closing some, or all blocks of 30th Avenue between 29th and 35th streets, to vehicular traffic.

In Kelowna, Mayor Colin Basran advocated for the closing of Bernard Avenue downtown to allow for businesses to expand into the street in a similar fashion.

Bernard will close to vehicle traffic from St. Paul Street to the Sails statue, including a portion of Abbott Street towards Lawrence Avenue. The intersections at cross streets would remain open to through traffic. The closure would begin June 29 and last through Sept. 8.

This was passed Monday, May 25, with two councillors suggesting this be considered every summer.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

READ MORE: COVID-19: Vernon council eyes extending patios into parking spots


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

Police seek boat, trailer stolen from Salmon Arm property

The aluminum fishing boat has been gone since June 29

Collision snarls traffic west of Sorrento

Reports on social media suggest the crash involved two semi trucks.

Princeton RCMP arrest suspects in violent Salmon Arm home invasion

Two men who allegedly staged a violent home invasion in Salmon Arm… Continue reading

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Police searching for missing Lake Country man

David Anthony Jenken, 65, was reported missing Friday and was last seen on June 28

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read