The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is exploring an expedited review and approval process for temporary patio extensions to support existing food and beverage establishments.
Approved patio expansions would allow businesses to safely serve patrons while complying with physical distancing and capacity limitations ordered by the Provincial Health Officer related to COVID-19.
The steps required to provide an expedited municipal approval process include integrating the municipality’s existing development permit and liquor license approval processes with the expedited process recently announced by the provincial government that enables food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as breweries, to apply to temporarily expand their service areas until October 31, 2020.
RMOW staff are in discussions with the Restaurant Association of Whistler (RAW), select food and beverage operators, and neighbourhood representatives to understand potential impacts. Any use of public open space (both public and privately owned) for temporary patio use must be fair and equitable, and meet local bylaws and fire regulations, while ensuring that sufficient open space is maintained in and around Whistler’s commercial areas for the general public to feel welcome.
A report to Council is planned on June 9, 2020 to include recommendations for an expedited application and approval process for temporary patio expansions and recommendations for the long term protection of this important sector of Whistler’s economy.
In the meantime, the RMOW is asking all food and beverage operators to only operate within their currently permitted patio areas.