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Delta wants to see patio expansion options continue

What started as a way to increase restaurant capacity amid COVID is poised to continue beyond the pandemic
Delta patio dining
Many Delta restaurants and bars took advantage of the Province’s CESA program by investing in temporary patio spaces during the pandemic.

Allowing restaurants the ability to expand their dining spaces to outdoor patios has proven to be such a success throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that Delta wants to the province to continue the program and streamlining applications indefinitely.

Earlier this week, Mayor George Harvie sent a letter to Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General Mike Farnworth requesting that the online process for Temporary Expanded Service Areas (TESA) be extended indefinitely to ensure the survival of struggling food and beverage establishments.

“In 2020, the Province, through the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), established an expedited, no fee, online process for TESA,” wrote Harvie. “These TESA areas enabled restaurants, breweries, distilleries and other licensed establishments to expand their liquor service areas to help overcome the burden of indoor capacity restrictions imposed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Harvie said in support of this process, Delta council endorsed a plan, which would allow for the pre-approval of TESA applications to the LCRB, which subsequently extended indefinitely to support local business.

“Numerous Delta restaurants, bars and manufacturers took advantage of the Province’s CESA program by investing in temporary patio spaces, which now contribute to the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods,” said Harvie. “It is understood, that the LCRB is no longer accepting new TESA applications and that any existing TESA will expire on June 1. For those businesses wishing to extend the use of their TESA space beyond this period, they must apply to the LCRB for a permanent outdoor patio or indoor structural change.”
This application, said Harvie, requires a payment of $400, the submission of floor plans and referral to the local government.

“The forthcoming expiry of approved TESA licenses will result in additional constraints to these businesses and, in the absence of greater clarity around the LCRB requirements in local government approval,” he said. “The process is too onerous for small business who are already reeling after the devastating financial losses encountered due to effects of pandemic restrictions.”
On Monday, Delta council will be reviewing its patio program bylaws, which are up for first, second and third readings.