Patio options are available for Creston businesses amid the indoor service pause brought by increased Covid-19 infection rates.

While eating or drinking indoors at local restaurants is nixed until at least April 19th, taking food to-go or lounging on a patio is allowed.

For restaurants that want to pursue the outside dine-in option but do not already have an established patio space, the Town of Creston has an existing solution.

“We have a sidewalk use permit in place already, ” said Director of Municipal Services Ross Beddoes. “So if a local business wants to move out onto the sidewalk we will definitely work with them.”

Beddoes added that parking space could also be allocated for a small patio. However, the request from the restaurant directed to Town staff would have to have to be taken to Council for approval. The next Council meeting is on Tuesday, April 13th.

Creston has a long history of turning the entirety of the business-dense Canyon Street into a pedestrian space where local shops open up further into the roadway. But that is only for short intervals as any longer period would be an “expensive proposition,” according to Beddoes.

“At Blossom Festival, they usually close down for five or six hours at a time,” said Beddoes. “With manned flaggers at each end diverting traffic toward Cook Street.”

Canyon Street is under the jurisdiction of BC Highways, Beddoes explained.  The Town must first make a formal request to divert traffic, and then the temporary hiring of diversion crews comes out of the Town’s pocket.

For a more permanent solution of turning Canyon Street into a pedestrian-centric thorofare controlled by the Town, the Cook Street Highway re-alignment proposal must first be approved by the B.C. Government.

“It would be just fabulous to reclaim Canyon Street for the community,” Beddoes added. “We’re still pursuing it. We bring it up every opportunity we have with the Ministry, but we’ve had no word yet.”

For the time being,  side streets along Canyon Street could also be used for outdoor space. This again would be at the request of the business owner and Town staff.

To request sidewalk patio seating from the Town of Creston, follow this link or simply give Town Hall a call at 250-428-2214.

For more on the temporary restrictions made by the Provincial Health Officer see: B.C. reacts to rise in COVID-19 cases with changes to regulations around gatherings