Council Supports Use of Public Spaces to Support Small Businesses

May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

Council Endorses Use of Public Spaces to Support Small Businesses

To help support local Oak Bay businesses through these uncertain and challenging times of COVID-19, Oak Bay Council resolved today to relax the Streets and Traffic Bylaw to expedite the approval process of temporary sidewalk or parking stall patios.

In the past weeks, the District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has connected with a number of Oak Bay businesses regarding potential opportunities for the District to provide support.

The EOC invited local businesses to reach out with proposals and to work with staff to explore potential solutions, including the use of public right of way or parking spaces for patios servicing small businesses. To date, several businesses have already reached out to the District for support through the EOC.

“This Council decision represents a collaborative effort between Oak Bay Council and the District’s EOC.  Staff applied an operational lens to the issue and provided information for Council’s consideration at a governance level,” stated Mayor Kevin Murdoch. 

District staff are already developing design guidelines for temporary sidewalk or parking stall patios so that these potential solutions can be implemented safely and as quickly as possible.

In addition, Council also resolved that application fees and administration fees for the purposes of temporary sidewalk or parking stall patios will not be collected. The District believes that these temporary relaxations will allow for the municipality to support these innovative solutions for small businesses, while still enabling the public to safely physical distance on our sidewalks.

Mayor Kevin Murdoch said, “Today’s decision allows the District to provide additional support to local businesses and the wider community in Oak Bay during this time of COVID-19.”

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For media inquiries, please call:
Kevin Murdoch, Mayor
District of Oak Bay