Lacombe City Council has approved the updated on‐street patio policy, which will allow businesses to include bistro table sets outside of their establishments.
The updated policy additionally clarifies that on-street patios in the community must not impede necessary emergency services connections, storm drainage gutters, catch basins, and adjacent building exits.
“Since its inception, the on-street patio policy has allowed Lacombe businesses to serve customers through innovative ways that attract new investment to our community,” said Grant Creasey, mayor of Lacombe. “This updated policy will allow more businesses to benefit from outdoor dining options while enhancing the look and feel of our downtown.”
The bylaw also states that City or third-party utilities may remove portions of the patio to access infrastructure.
Council said that the approval of bistro tables benefits businesses with smaller restaurants, those with limited menus, or cafes that do not wish to install a full patio but would like to allow their patrons to sit outside while enjoying a beverage or dessert.
The policy allows a maximum of one bistro set for every three metres of street frontage per business on the adjacent sidewalk, assuming they do not significantly impede pedestrian walkways or affect sidewalk accessibility. Bistro tables will only be considered in locations without patios already in place and would primarily be limited to two chairs per table downtown.
The new regulations for preventing hazards, ensuring good maintenance, seasonal removal, and location only in front of the business apply to the bistro sets.
Council initially adopted the policy in 2020, identifying patios to provide seasonal outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes.
Benefits of on-street patios or sidewalk bistro sets include expanded opportunities for businesses, particularly food and drink establishments, to increase and diversify their seating capacity. They also enhance street vibrancy for residents, visitors, and tourists to Lacombe.
The policy provides administration with the authority to approve patio applications where less than 15 per cent of available on‐street parking per block is impacted, or alternately, to refer applications to council for a decision.
Under the new policy, patio season will run from May 1 to October 15 each year.