May 27, 2015 - 2:29 PM
KAMLOOPS – There could be new restrictions put in place to give liquor vendors a buffer zone if a motion being proposed by a councillor gains any traction.
Coun. Marg Spina will be putting a motion forward asking for distance parameters on new liquor licenses. She is asking the city to change the zoning bylaw to give a one-kilometer buffer between liquor vendors.
Spinga notes the reason for the motion is because of new provincial legislation regarding private beer and wines stores and what are called auctioned grocery store B.C. wine licenses. The latter describes a special license for B.C. specific wines and ciders to be sold at grocery stores.
Accompanied with her notice of motion, Spina provided information from Tracy Gray, owner of Discovery Wines. Gray describes what she calls the 'tsunami' of new outlets in Kamloops, a region without bylaws regarding the saturation of liquor stores.
The concern of Gray, and subsequently Spina, is for local businesses. She believes grocery stores have an unfair advantage.
“How can small, local, independent retailers go up against the resources of the largest grocery chains in Western Canada?” Gray asks.
She says her business supports local industry, tourism and regional food products where these potential new retailers won’t.
While Spina made no mention of this point Tuesday in council, Gray suggested city hold open houses to acquire the public’s views on selling liquor in grocery stores.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015