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Patio changes could be at parking's expense

A new set of rules expanding the potential locations for restaurant patios has been passed by the City of Charlottetown, but some councillors have concerns about how this might impact parking.

Charlottetown adds 3 blocks where restaurants, lounges can install decks that extend into street

Charlottetown will now allow more patios, but will it be at the expense of city parking spaces? 1:59

A new set of rules expanding the potential locations for restaurant patios has been passed by the City of Charlottetown, but some councillors have concerns about how this might impact parking.

Changes have been made to the street vendor bylaw specific to patios that extend into the street and occupy parking spots.

Three city blocks along major streets where restaurants or lounges can put in a deck have been added.

Coun. David MacDonald says the 24 allocated parking spaces will meet the needs of restaurants that want patio space. (CBC)
"We're now entertaining applications from south of Euston Street to the waterfront in the downtown core of the city," said Coun. David MacDonald.

"Not every business in the downtown core is a restaurant. And, you know, banks need parking, the retail industry needs parking."

'No consensus'

Therefore, the city has capped the number of parking spaces that patios can cover at 24. Each restaurant patio can take up a maximum of three spots.

"We feel that the 24 spaces that we've allocated can, not only meet the needs we've had in the past, they will meet the needs for all the applications we've received so far this year. And there's still two or three, there's still some space left subsequent ones," said MacDonald.

If more restaurants apply than parking spaces are available, the city will put all applicants into a lottery.

Each location gets one chance to win patio space.

The move was an unpleasant surprise, for some council members and Mayor Clifford Lee.

"There was no consensus, none whatsoever, on a lottery, there was no consensus on the cap," said Coun. Mitchell Tweel.

However, MacDonald says by the time a lottery system would have to be used in 2015, council will have figured out the best system for assigning patio space.

"We couldn't come up with anything else," said MacDonald.

For mobile device users:Are you concerned that restaurant patios will be taking up 24 parking spots in Charlottetown?

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