07/09/2013 21:16 EDT | Updated 09/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver patios could be expanded for later dining

Vancouver could soon relax patio bylaws to allow restaurants to seat more patrons outside later at night.

Coun. Health Deal says current rules limit outside seating to 20 per cent of a restaurant's capacity and require the outside area to close by 11 p.m.

"I think it is time to look at whether it is time to extent those hours and expand our patios because people love spending time outdoors," said Deal on Tuesday.

But Deal says city staff will have to look at the changes first and it could be the summer of 2014 before any changes go into effect.

The discussion about new patio rules comes as the city council also considers changes to allow small craft breweries to serve beer onsite in designated lounges.

Coun. George Affleck also proposed a motion to reconfigure the Granville Street Entertainment District with restaurant patios and less parking on the sidewalks, but the council decided to scrap the motion and focus on patios citywide instead.

Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association president Charles Gauthier says it's a mistake to ignore the city's busiest nightclub strip.

"There are a lot of private developments that are changing the face of Granville Street and we think the public should stay on top of this and make changes accordingly," said Gauthier.