Licensed restaurants and bars in the Fort and across Alberta now have more control over their patios.
The relaxed rules give more control over the size, design, entrance and exit points of patios, including clearer definitions for sidewalk patios.
"Patios are great meeting places for Albertans to enjoy themselves they make our neighbourhoods welcoming and vibrant," commented Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci.
"This policy makes life better for businesses and patrons alike by allowing for types of patios that recognize the unique character of the building, neighbourhood and customers.”
Previously, enclosures that were a minimum of three feet high were needed to run a patio. Now, they can define their outdoor space using planters or other decorative items like furniture.
The new rules also reduce the financial barrier businesses face when building, expanding or renovating a patio.
"The businesses that we have are often quite ingenious and have a creative way that they want to use their space," said Fort Saskatchewan - Vegreville MLA Jessica Littlewood,"this can allow them to do that and in turn, that grows foot traffic in communities that are really trying to grow their businesses."
Beyond changes to patio policy, venues licensed to serve liquor will also benefit from fewer restrictions on how their licensed areas must be separated from unlicensed areas.