Patio expansion plans snarled in red tape, pub owner says

A downtown Regina pub that is looking to expand its outdoor patio space says red tape at City Hall is threatening to stall the project.
The owner of O'Hanlon's in Regina is concerned delays at City Hall could stall plans for a patio space. (CBC)

A downtown Regina pub that is looking to expand its outdoor patio space says red tape at City Hall is threatening to stall the project.

O'Hanlon's, which operates on Scarth Street in the heart of the the city's downtown, took its proposal to officials about two years ago, but has recently learned it is still working its way through the bureaucratic process.

Pub owner Niall O'Hanlon said he was hoping to start work on the expansion in a few weeks so that the new patio would be ready when the weather improved.

"We want to have a patio that's viable for three seasons," O'Hanlon explained. "Like heated on the ground and heating from the top with canopies. And we just want to bring more people downtown."

He learned Monday that his plans are being referred to a board of the city for consideration at a meeting in April.

"We were told yesterday that we would have to wait until April 15 for a meeting with a board and it would be a preliminary meeting and we'd have to wait for their outcome," O'Hanlon said. "So we're looking at all the summer gone for our patio construction."

City officials said the approval process is complicated because the buildings involved have historical significance.

"The patio is located in the Victoria Heritage Conservation District," Fred Searle, a planning official explained. "So in that particular case we look at the material treatment of the patio to make sure that it's consistent with the heritage features of buildings with in the Victoria Park area."

Searle added the city has been working with the pub and that a temporary patio is in place.

O'Hanlon said he has an architect working on plans to ensure the project meets all heritage requirements.

He's hoping that will satisfy the city so that approval could happen sooner rather than later.

With files from CBC's Joana Draghici