City of North Vancouver advocates for increased flexibility in outdoor dining

May 12 2020, 1:58 pm

North Vancouver’s mayor, Linda Buchanan, has taken initiative to better support restaurants and craft brewers in the city amid the pandemic.

Mayor Buchanan has led several round table conversations with business owners in the food and beverage industry and has since written to Attorney General David Eby to advocate for increased flexibility in outdoor dining and liquor licensing.

“Physical distancing keeps residents and workers safe, but many businesses won’t be able to reach a sustainable sales capacity unless they increase their outdoor dining and take-out,” said Mayor Buchanan.

At a council meeting on Monday night, Mayor Buchanan directed staff to develop a “flexible and expedited outdoor dining process to allow retail, restaurants, craft breweries and pubs to expand on a temporary basis into public space while respecting the need for safe pedestrian movement.”

Staff were also asked to look into the feasibility of permitting the consumption of alcohol in certain public spaces in order to give people destinations to socialize with loved ones while supporting local businesses.

“People need safe ways to socialize and make most of the summer months. The City is committed to supporting residents and assisting businesses find innovative ways to operate and build consumer trust,” added Buchanan.

A similar proposal has been made in Vancouver and approved by Calgary City Council in Alberta.