Oakville Council Passes Commercial Recovery Initiative

Wed, 27 May 2020

On May 25, 2020, Town Council unanimously passed a motion to implement the Commercial Recovery Initiative that will permit commercial services outdoors, including expanded patio service when the Provincial order is lifted; along with other measures to help local businesses. The measures in the Commercial Recovery Initiative will support the town-wide reopening of commercial businesses in a practical manner that supports the safety of the community, employees and members of the public.

“Town Council and Oakville’s Economic Task Force want to be proactive and identify opportunities to support small businesses and restaurants. Converting available outdoor space to allow customers to shop or dine, while following proper physical distancing, will restore confidence in in-person shopping and dining when the provincial order allows restaurants to restore their full services,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

“In line with recommendations from our local BIAs, the Town will also be waiving the municipal portion of patio and bistro application fees. We know restaurants have been among the hardest hit as a result of the emergency order relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and we will continue to do everything we can to support our local restaurants who are an essential part of our community and local economy,” said Mayor Burton.

Mayor Burton will also be writing to the Province to request that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission start processing applications in anticipation of provincial restrictions being lifted, streamline its application process and waive any provincial fees for restaurants and small businesses.

The Commercial Recovery Initiative will include the following:

  • Making town lands in and adjacent to commercial areas available at nominal cost to enable the provision of temporary commercial services outdoors, including patios or pop-up facilities associated with existing restaurants and retail businesses, or outdoor sale or display of merchandise meeting the objectives of the program, subject to permitting requirements;
  • That the application fees for requisite approvals associated with the Commercial Recovery Initiative, be waived for 2020;
  • Temporary exemptions from providing required parking under section 40 of the Planning Act granted at nominal value to accommodate outdoor patios, or outdoor display areas on private property;
  • Incorporating physical distancing measures in commercial areas to address safety such as dedicated queueing or pedestrian areas;
  • Providing assistance through the Economic Task force to the BIAs, Chamber of Commerce and Visit Oakville with the development and implementation of a coordinated marketing campaign that encourages residents and visitors to support local businesses;
  • Expedited processing of permits which assist existing businesses in adjusting to the delivery of their services through alternate means;
  • Any use of town land or other permits being subject to compliance with physical distancing or other requirements applicable as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, insurance and indemnities, and any other restrictions necessary to protect public safety, meet accessibility requirements and avoid undue interference with the use of public lands by the general public or impacts on adjacent residents.