Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
April 24, 2024
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March 27, 2024
Volume 194 No. 13

Patio Policy

On Side: patios create a vibrant and activated Main Street
<p>Coaches is expected to have a patio on Main Street for the 2024 summer season. (Facebook photo)</p>
Coaches is expected to have a patio on Main Street for the 2024 summer season. (Facebook photo)

Restaurants and eateries fronting Picton and Wellington Main Street will enjoy reduced fees and a longer season in this year’s patio program.

Council approved reduced, “business-friendly” fees this month. The season will be extended by two weeks into late fall.

The annual application fee is $35, down from $50. A new inspection fee of $85 an hour will be charged of patios that require multiple compliance inspections.

Weekly fees, which recover lost parking revenues, drop by $10 per week to $60. They will be applied equitably to all operators, regardless of whether they occupy a paid parking location or not. 

Staff estimate the number of businesses taking part will fall from nine to seven in 2024. Last summer, seven businesses in Picton and a pair in Wellington took part, resulting in $15,000 in fees. This year, the program should generate about $11,000.

“Everyone we’ve spoken with was in support,” said Emily Cowan, Director of Community Services. “The patios add vibrancy to the Main Streets and calm traffic. What we’ve done is tweak it to make it easier for the local restaurant industry.” 

Some councillors, however, are still not keen on the idea of patios on Main Street.

“I won’t be supporting this,” Councillor Brad Nieman said, citing the loss of downtown parking spaces at the height of tourist season, as well as safety and accessibility concerns.

Ms. Cowan acknowledged the trade-off, but noted less than 4 per cent of parking spaces in Picton and 2.5 per cent in Wellington will be lost to patios. That’s acceptable to the merchants.

“Businesses and many residents agree that patios create a more activated and vibrant Main Street,” she said.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 13 edition of The Picton Gazette
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