The Bernard Avenue revitalization project could spawn a sea of sidewalk patios along the city’s main downtown street.
City Hall is developing a plan to encourage pubs and restaurants on Bernard to invest in patios outside their businesses in return for not having to pay any fees for the first two years and then only 50 per cent of the fee in the third year.
After that, an appraiser would be hired to figure out how much they should pay per year from then on.
Businesses closer to the lakeshore would pay the full fee while businesses farther from the water would pay a lower rate.
Currently, the city allows just one patio per block but once the revitalization work is complete, the sidewalks will be wider from Richter Street to the Sails and as many as six or seven patios per block could be accommodated.
Mayor Walter Gray, who said he likes the idea but wants it to go a little farther, suggested business owners who invest more should get a bigger break than those who invest less.
The plan, developed with the help of the Downtown Kelowna Association, has been deferred pending more consultation.