Prince Edward County’s committee of the whole has scrapped a motion to stop issuing any more outdoor patio permits on municipal property after Councillor Roy Pennell stated they are a cause for safety and parking concerns.
On Thursday, the Ameliasburgh councillor tabled a motion to see further permits quashed and the patio bylaw rescinded after raising worries that some of the patios and/or walkways could pose as a danger to pedestrians and are taking away from street parking in Picton and Wellington.
Three years ago the County launched a pilot program in an effort to spark more outdoor patios and after much success decided to offer it long term, enacting a patio bylaw.
“We just spent thousands for suitable parking,” said Pennell. “I fail to see how these patios present something historical.”
Councillor David Harrison was the only other councillor who supported Pennell’s motion on the basis that he too felt the patios limited parking. Harrison said he took a ‘straw poll’ of rural residents that said they too were in opposition of the patios taking away from needed parking spaces.
Director of Community Development Neil Carbone said those who chose to take advantage of the program are well within municipal guidelines, wider walkways were created and businesses went through the necessary heritage requirements. He said there are two applications in the works for patios that don’t require walkways into parking spaces.
Councillor Kevin Gale said he sees no problem with the current bylaw adding the patios are taking away a mere two to three parking spaces.
“It adds to businesses,” said Councillor Gale. “Some of them hang on by their shoelaces in the winter. This is a slippery path to go down by an area that is becoming a destination. Tourism keeps this area alive. If you ask some of these businesses, it’s tourism that allows them to pay the bills.
I would like to see more patios.”
Picton Councillor Lenny Epstein agreed the municipality has invested in parking, however he felt the dynamic life patios provide outweighs the number of concerns by those who are opposed to patios.
Councillor Janice Maynard agreed the patios offer value in the community. She said she too has noticed some safety issues with a patio in Wellington and suggested the horseshoe review the bylaw as it’s been in the works for a couple of years now.
No decision was made on reviewing the bylaw.