Prospect of liquor stores inside grocery stores prompts Kelowna bylaw review

The Brandt's Creek liquor store in Glenmore is a block away from two grocery stores.

KELOWNA - No one has even asked yet about putting a liquor store inside a Kelowna grocery store but planning staff will be asking city council if it wants to shore up its zoning bylaw to regulate them.

“Right now we have five locations where there is already a retail liquor store on the same site as a grocery store,” planning manager Ryan Smith says. “We’re asking council if they want to put in some proximity regulations.”

The four stores involved are Urban Fare and Save-On Foods in Mission Park Mall, the Save-On Foods in Orchard Plaza, Coopers Foods in Glenpark Mall and the IGA on Hollywood Road and Highway 33.

In January of this year, the provincial government and the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch announced it would allow liquor sales in grocery stores as of April 1.

Smith says, in his report to council, the city could not stop this from happening under the current bylaw, without adding proximity regulations.

“Council doesn’t have to deal it with unless they see it as a possible problem in the future,” Smith says. “Right now we already have a system in place that gives council the ability to control most new retail liquor locations.’

If such proximity changes are made, Smith warned it could have the effect of making some existing liquor stores which are close to each other legally non-conforming.

Council will consider the report at their regular council meeting, Monday, June 22 at 1 p.m. at Kelowna City Hall.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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