The SLA issued Advisory 2022-19 concerning outdoor space being included as part of a licensed premise.
The Advisory confirmed that exterior seating must be owned or leased by the licensee and contiguous to the interior licensed space. In other words, customers must be able to walk directly from the interior to the exterior space. There cannot be any break in the space (such as a sidewalk) that is not exclusively used by the licensee and blocked off from public through-traffic.
The Advisory also clarified its policy on municipal space being used. If a license has a permit or written authorization to use municipally owned space, the licensee can serve in such space without adding it to its licensed space on its diagram. No alteration permit is needed either, provided the licensee advises the SLA in writing it will be using such municipal space and the licensee complies with any rules/conditions of the municipality concerning use of the space. The SLA website contains instructions for adding municipal space to the licensed premise.
Most importantly, the SLA clarified that the municipal space does not need to be contiguous (but should be near enough to make sense). An exception to the need for a method of operation change or alteration application exist for licensees who have a license condition by the SLA or municipality that prohibits outdoor space.
If you wonder how this Advisory might affect you, contact Tracy Jong and her team at Evans Fox. Put our years of experience and our current understanding of the ever-changing rules and policies of the SLA to work for your business.