South Peace News
Convenience stores in Big Lakes County selling liquor has caused concern with county administration.
Now, council proposes to amend the land-use bylaw to allow it to make convenience stores comply.
At its regular meeting April 27, council gave first reading to land-use bylaw 10-2022 to amend the bylaw to allow liquor sales in convenience stores.
Council heard about the issue with little discussion.
A public hearing was scheduled for May 25 in the council chambers at 1:30 p.m.
The issue was discovered after the County received an inquiry from a person who asked about liquor sales in the highway commercial district, said Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.
“In reviewing the land-use bylaw, it was determined that liquor sales is a discretionary use in only the hamlet mixed-use district and no others,” Olansky said.
She added several convenience stores in the county offer liquor sales.
“However, the current land-use bylaw specifically excludes retail liquor sales from convenience retail services.”
Existing businesses would be considered non-conforming to the land-use bylaw.
“But in order to bring them into compliance and to accommodate future proposals, the planning department recommends that the land-use bylaw be amended to include liquor sales as a discretionary use in the commercial recreation, hamlet commercial and highway commercial land-use districts,” said Olansky.
“It will also bring existing businesses into compliance with the land-use bylaw.”
In the current land-use bylaw, wholesale or retail liquor sales and distribution outlets or facilities or cannabis retail stores are not included in the convenience retail services use class, Olansky states