Ajax extends patio permit program to 2023

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Published November 24, 2021 at 5:47 pm

Ajax council has decided to extend its fast-tracked patio permit program (PPP) into 2023 to help restaurants get back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program initially began in June 2020 during the first reopening attempt after the first wave of the pandemic.

Restaurant owners could apply to build a patio on public property inside municipally controlled boulevards or on private property with the owner’s permission.

All fees have been waived, saving businesses over $2,500. Owners need to apply via an online form to extend their seating areas making social distance requirements easier to meet.

Previously, patios needed Site Plan approval under the Planning Act. This typically meant owners had to prove their patios met engineering codes, fire codes and accessibility requirements.

While owners still need to show their patios are safe, the PPP “streamlines” the process, per the Town of Ajax. To apply, business owners first need to ascertain if it would be on public or private property.

Secondly, if on private property the business doesn’t own they need written permission from the property owner, or if it would be on public property they need proof of insurance of at least $2 million that covers the Town as well.

After reviewing accessibility standards and the Town’s conditions, restaurateurs need to submit a drawing of the patio (functioning like a blueprint), indicating the conditions and standards – such as a prohibition on removing disability parking spots – that will be followed.

Mayor Shaun Collier lauded the success of the initiative over the past two years, noting 32 restaurants took advantage of the program. “By continuing this needed program we are able to support our local businesses who have been hit the hardest during the pandemic. We look forward to working with our businesses on additional recovery initiatives in the future.”

Ajax’s initiative is part of a variety of programs across Durham Region to extend patio seating. The Region expedited road occupancy permits for roads under their jurisdiction and Oshawa, Pickering and other municipalities have their own analogous programs.

Permits from 2021 were set to expire on October 31, but the extension means the restaurants will be able to keep their patios through the warmer months of 2022 and 2023.

 

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