Town of Peace River allowing temporary retail patio spaces to open

The Town of Peace River is allowing temporary patio and retail spaces to ‘ provide increased flexibility for businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19’. Citizens who are looking to extend their home with a private use, non-retail patios are not applicable for the pilot program, and they need not apply.

Alisha Mody, Manager of Planning and Development for the Town of Peace River, stated that the new retail space pilot project is aimed to help create some retail space both on private and public lots.

“We’re looking at retail stores and restaurants and bars and or our local brewery; essential businesses that could take advantage of this.”

Mody stated that the pilot project is not just limited to the downtown area, and most of those who want to participate have the ability to do so.

“We have certain limitations around different types of road classes, so if you’re adjacent to a road a little bit more than fifty kilometers, that would constrain your ability to participate. But it’s basically anywhere where you have a restaurant or retail stores— they have the option to take a look at the guidelines and see how they can use them.”

Mody also stated that there is no application to fill out, only guidelines that are to be followed.

“We’re not going to say yes or no. We’re giving them some guidelines. There are temporary outdoor patio retail space guidelines you need to review that document and a declaration form.”

The declaration form is to be signed and submitted to the town, alongside a site diagram that shows where one is intending to put their patio space.

“Depending on the details of their proposal, in terms of the location or what they’re doing there, they might need some additional permissions, but those aren’t necessarily coming from the town. If AGLC (Alberta Gaming Liquor Cannabis) is applicable they will need that. If they’re close to a highway— which includes our main street— they would need Alberta Transportation’s permission.”

The main street of Peace River is Highway 744, which goes down the main street, and down across the harbor bridge.

The guidelines state that upon completion of a patio, that a resident must contact the Peace River Fire Department at 780-624-2993, for fire and general safety reasons. The Fire Department will assess the maximum capacity of the temporary patio, which must be done before the patio is used.

“We’re trying to strip down the permissions that are required; it’s just stuff we can’t get away from.” Mody stated.

Patio spaces are allowed to stay in operation up until November 4th, ‘or until winter road conditions arise as determined by the Town, whichever is sooner’. The town is to provide a 24 hour notice of winter road conditions to businesses where applicable.

The full document of the Town of Peace River’s guidelines is available here. The declaration form is available on the 9th page.

AGLC forms are available here, but they are only required if one plans to have a retail liquor license for their patio area. Alberta Transportation permits are available here.

-Ridley Reiser, Trending 55 Newsroom