Port Dover Downtown bumpout patios not going ahead this summer

The pop-up patio on the sidewalk and extended wooden bump-out sidewalk in downtown Simcoe. Photo by Aaron Gautreau on Twitter

NORFOLK County’s Planning Department is abandoning its plan to install wooden bumpouts around sidewalk patios in downtown Port Dover this summer.
The pilot project was announced at the Board of Trade’s meeting last month as one way to help revitalize Norfolk’s downtowns.
The idea was widely discussed and many people made their views known.
Norfolk’s Manager of Community Planning Pam Duesling told last Thursday’s Board of Trade meeting that the department had received “lots of community feedback from businesses and community members.”
Much of that feedback opposed the wooden structures that would extend the sidewalk into a parking spot to permit a restaurant patio space on the concrete sidewalk.
The County has decided that the pop-up patio pilot project is not a good fit for downtown Port Dover.
However, a smaller scale alternative was proposed.
While the bump out into the parking space would not be allowed, restaurants could create space for three or four tables in half the sidewalk.
The meeting was told the new Main Street sidewalk is wide enough for the required Accessiblity for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirement and a small patio space as well.
Manager Duesling stated “I believe there is sufficient space on the sidewalk in front of stores” to have several tables up close to their building and still space for pedestrian traffic.
Ms. Duesling stated it would be up to individual businesses to work with the Clerk’s Department to arrange an encroachment agreement for use of the municipal sidewalk and pay the required fee.
Kayla Rell of the planning department said allowing people to be seated on the street can create “a nice atmosphere for downtown.”
Those businesses interested in pursing the idea of several tables on the sidewalk would need to contact Norfolk County Clerk’s Department “to see if this is possible for them,” Ms. Dueling stated.

Posted: May 3, 2017