Edmonton restaurants and bars should find it easier and cheaper to open outdoor patios this year.

si-patio-protest

Edmonton restaurants held a protest last summer to express anger over the long wait to get approval for outdoor patios. (CBC)

"We have such a short summer we might as well get out there and enjoy it," said Coun. Kerry Diotte, who questioned why city hall took so long.

"I am concerned somewhat in the fact Don (Iveson) and Ben (Henderson) and I asked for this almost a year ago."

The smaller sidewalk cafes which don't serve alcohol should win approval immediately.

Larger patios that will be serving alcohol will still have to wait four to six weeks to get the go ahead.

Rules will be in place to help the city keep an eye on the patio furniture set out by bars and restaurants. 

"Its to stop someone throwing junk furniture out there that doesn't match ... that we're not just taking an old sofa and throwing it out there and calling it furniture," said Coun. Ben Henderson.

Larger patios will now pay $100 per year, while smaller patios will pay $25. Also for the first time businesses can keep a patio open year round if they so wish.

"The purpose was to get some outdoor activity," said Coun. Kim Krushell. "We think we achieved that."