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City of Powell River council approves temporary use permit for restaurant patio

Costa del Sol can continue to operate outdoor space
RECEIVES PERMISSION: Costa del Sol restaurant has been granted a temporary use permit to operate its outdoor patio on Marine Avenue.

City of Powell River council has granted a temporary use permit for Costa del Sol restaurant on Marine Avenue to continue operating its outdoor patio.

At the November 4 council meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of the temporary use permit, subject to construction and approval of permanent washroom facilities to meet occupancy requirements to the satisfaction of the chief building official.

Councillor Rob Southcott said the patio was permitted as a temporary expanded service area (TESA) a year and a half ago when the community and the province were seeking ways to help establishments such as Costa del Sol thrive during the pandemic.

“It appears to have worked very well,” said Southcott. “We supported it back at that time enthusiastically. The liquor and cannabis regulation branch has allowed these temporary expanded service area permits to become permanent. Now, the application for this temporary use permit is to allow that TESA permit to become permanent.

“This is a perfect use for a temporary use permit because the patio is located on a piece of property that doesn’t have the business on it that will be using the patio. It has really added to the ambiance and service to the community.”

Two letters of concern were received by council regarding parking and noise and councillor George Doubt said parking, at dinner time on Marine Avenue, is more full than at any other time.

“That’s one of the wonderful things about Powell River when you drive down Marine Avenue around dinner time and it’s all about various residents of Powell River feeding each other,” said Doubt. “I like to see the businesses thriving. I’ve enjoyed this restaurant patio and I was glad it was there this summer when the COVID-19 restrictions were tighter than they are now. I’m in favour of it.”

Doubt said public attention is being drawn to the noise factor and he hopes that is addressed, too.

Costa del Sol owner Sarah McClean said the patio has enabled the business to expand to a safer capacity.

“It enables us to employ more people,” added McClean. “We employed 45 people this summer and that is a substantial number of jobs in this community and a substantial amount of payroll going back into the community.

“We try our very best to communicate with the neighbours. We are always available and willing to speak with our neighbours.”

Glenn Christensen, a neighbour of the restaurant, said he likes the restaurant being there and it’s a lot better than having the overgrown lot that was there before.

Christensen said, however, that if Costa del Sol would adhere to the noise bylaw, things would be better.

“We’ve gone there in our pajamas after we’ve been to bed,” said Christensen. “The speakers are aimed at our house. I’d like to see it off by 10 pm, that’s all.”

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