Monday, January 25, 2016

Council to hear report on issues related to possibility of Wine stores in Grocery stores in Prince Rupert

Liquor store distances will be on the
agenda at Prince Rupert City Council
this evening
Liquor and wine will be on the mind of City Councillors this evening, as part of tonight's council session will be set aside to review a report from City Planner Zeno Krekic, who was tasked by the City to provide some background on the prospect of a 1 kilometre rule as it relates to the possible introduction of Wine Stores in the city's Grocery Stores.

The request for more background came from the December  7th Council session.

At that Council meeting Councillor Barry Cunningham expressed his concerns about the impact on local private and public liquor stores, should the large grocery chains of Safeway and Overwaitea introduce the store within a store concept that is being launched in other communities.

As part of his overview for council at the December 7th session Mr. Cunningham asked for more details on how to proceed with a 1 kilometre distance rule on liquor establishments in the city.

The topic of liquor sales in the city is one that pops up on the radar of Council from time to time, first introduced to the discussion page by Councillor Thorkelson in February of 2014 and followed up by Councillor Cunningham  later in the year.

You can review some of Mr. Krekic's findings from the Council Agenda Package for tonight's session, that review starts at page 9,  included in the review are two options for Council to consider.

The first, that Council proceed with amending the current Zoning Bylaw, or in the case of the second recommendation, that Council make no changes and maintain the current "status quo" with the Liquor Licensing Branch regulating liquor sales in grocery stores.

In his review for Council, the City planner observed that there currently are 7 private stores and 1 BC Liquor Store outlet in the City.

In the conclusion to his report, Mr. Krekic notes the following three areas for consideration of Council members tonight.

The intent of congregating all retail establishments under one definition and as a single permitted use allows flexibility which is very important for our "boom & bust" economy. 

In our current state of flex and anticipations of major economic boom, this item may not be the best use of staff time and energy. 

 Forwarding this item to be included in the upcoming updates of the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw is a reasonable option.

What Council will have to decide this evening is, with a number of other key issues dominating much of their time and the list seemingly set to expand, if the potential of wine stores moving into the Grocery stores warrants any further action, or attention by City Council.

For more items related to tonight's Council session see our Preview page here.

Further background on Council discussions can be found on our Council Discussion archive page.

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