Visitors to Ladner Village may be able to take a stroll down a new pedestrian-only section of street.
Council last week approved a new process for expedited sidewalk patio permits and to wave all sidewalk patio licence fees, as well as application fees, for patio building permits and changes to liquor licenses for the rest of 2021.
During their discussion, the idea of closing down Delta Street in the village to make it pedestrian-only during certain times was also brought up as an idea to be explored.
Coun, Dylan Kruger agreed with Coun. Dan Copeland’s suggestion that it may be worth a pilot project to “activate” a street, perhaps on weekends, during summer.
“I think cities that have done this, that have had street closures, usually found it’s been an opposite of a closure. It’s actually the opening of a street. It’s actually allowing street uses for everybody, not just for vehicles, and I think a place like Ladner Village is a great place to pilot something like that,” Kruger said,
When things went into shutdown mode during COVID-19 last spring, city council directed staff to coordinate Delta’s efforts to help businesses with local groups, including the Delta Chamber of Commerce, Ladner Business Association, Tsawwassen Business Improvement Association and others, through the new Community Resilience and Economic Recovery Support Team (CRERST).
The collaborative brings together networks and resources of each organization, coming up with new marketing initiatives, while the City of Delta assisted in other ways including expanding the outdoor patio policy last summer.
Saying her members appreciate the city's willingness to work in a timely manner with local business trying creative responses to public health restrictions, and that the expansion of sidewalk patio permits will enable more restaurants and food services businesses to adjust, LBA president Jill McKnight told the Optimist her organization looks forward to discussing more ideas with Delta.
“The restrictions and adjustments required during the COVID pandemic are creating opportunities to explore pilot projects which can enhance the shopping districts. The LBA looks forward to hearing proposed suggestions from the City of Delta and continuing discussions to explore opportunities for placemaking, vibrancy and unique experiences in Ladner Village," she said.
Delta Chamber of Commerce executive director Garry Shearer noted CRERST partners, the mayor, some councillors and civic staff met via Zoom recently to discuss further actions to support local businesses.
“The topic of street closures came up, which we would support if it made sense for the local main street businesses that will be affected,” he said.
Shearer added the chamber is glad to see Delta has taken further steps to enhance the patio policy, saying it will be particularly helpful during the ban on indoor dining for the foreseeable future.