Request to have Oshawa’s Accessibility Committee approve downtown patios denied


Published February 8, 2022 at 2:45 pm

A request from the Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee (OAAC) that sidewalk patio applications be brought to the OAAC for approval was defeated at committee Monday, with councillors saying struggling businesses don’t need another layer of bureaucracy in their recovery from the pandemic.

Rosemary McConkey, who sits on the advisory committee, was surprised at the dissension she was hearing from her fellow councillors on the issue when it came before the Development Services Committee.

“This didn’t come out of nowhere, she said of the request, which asked that patio plans “and other intrusions” by local businesses onto pedestrian walkways in downtown Oshawa “be brought to the OAAC to ensure accessibility for pedestrians and persons using mobility devices is ensured and that barriers are not created.”

McConkey said she “fully expects” the motion to be approved. “I don’t think this is a big ask at all.”

Several councillors spoke out against the motion, including Derek Giberson, who represents the downtown. Giberson said the short patio season means restaurants and other businesses wanting patios need a quick turnaround on their requests and that city staff are fully qualified to approve or dismiss the application.

“Maybe there are ways to improve the actual process instead of this.”

The motion was defeated 5-1.

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