News Bulletin file photo

News Bulletin file photo

Surrey waives outdoor patio fees for pubs, restaurants

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, praised the move

Surrey city council has waived fees related to the city’s Parking to Patios program in an effort to help restaurants and pubs weather the pandemic.

Council voted to do this Monday, a move which sees the $200 application fee and $500 security deposit for approved on-street applications set aside. Also, city road and right-of-way use and traffic obstruction permit fees continue to be waived.

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, praised the move.

“The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased that the City of Surrey has listened to the needs of the business community in deciding to make the program affordable and inclusive,” she said. “This is an industry that has been one of the hardest hit – they need solutions. Now we need to see how many restaurants will participate.”

The program allows restaurants and pubs to expand their service to private parking lots, sidewalks, boulevards, city road right-of-ways and on-street parking. Currently they are restricted from offering dine-in service.

Councillor Linda Annis called it a “fantastic thing to do” as establishment owners in Surrey have been suffering under COVID-19 health orders.

“I think this is going to just be a real pivotal moment for them,” she said.

READ ALSO: Surrey restaurants, pubs, will be hit hard by new COVID-19 restrictions

READ ALSO: Surrey Board of Trade calls on city hall to waive patio fees for restaurants, pubs

A staff report to council says this is a “temporary allowance” that will be in place until the end of December. Councillor Allison Patton said this was “one of the most powerful decisions we could make during this time as a team, as a group.” Mayor Doug McCallum called it a “tremendous program.”

But Councillor Mandeep Nagra said a lot of restaurant owners have told him that strata management companies are not granting them permission to put patios in parking lots. He asked staff if anything can be done about that.

City Manager Vince Lalonde replied.

”I do not believe that we can get involved into private property dealings with stratas but we could review the matter and see what we could do for encouragement,” he said.

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