February 15, 2016 - 4:30 PM
PENTICTON - The issue of liquor sales in Penticton grocery stores comes back before city council during tonight’s regular meeting.
Council has heard from proponents both for and against the issue, having listened to a presentation by several local liquor retailers, including representatives from a local winery and craft brewer on Sept. 8, 2015.
Council also hear from a representative from the Overwaitea food group, who spoke on behalf of Penticton’s Save on Foods, at a January 2016 meeting of council.
City staff have come up with three options for council to consider this evening, the first option is to maintain the status quo and trust the provincial government has done its due diligence to the issue. One argument put forward by staff says any restrictions put forward by council would not alter existing provincial policy but would limit local wineries’ ability to sell within grocery stores in Penticton.
As a second option, the councillors could look at adding restrictions and regulations beyond those imposed by the province, noting it would be possible for the city to pass a zoning bylaw amendment that could impose restrictions on the sale of non-B.C. wines in local liquor stores.
Council could also impose distance limits between retail stores, similar to a bylaw issued in Kamloops.
The councillors could also introduce new land use categories that would require a licensee to go through a zoning amendment with each relocation, in order to allow council the opportunity to consider every change in and application, similar to a ruling made in Kelowna.
Finally, council could allow third parties an opportunity to present delegations to a special meeting to solicit further input from other community groups such as MADD, the Chamber of Commerce and the B.C. Wine Institute.
Tonight’s, Feb. 15, council meeting gets underway at 6 p.m.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016