A liquor store is being proposed next to the 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station in north Nanaimo.
Nanaimo city council, at a meeting Monday, Dec. 20, passed first and second readings of a re-zoning application for a liquor store in the unit currently occupied by Off the Vine Winemaking on the corner of Dover and Blueback roads. Liquor Mart’s application was submitted on behalf of property owner 7-Eleven Canada Inc.
Jeremy Holm, the city’s director of development approvals, told council that the proposal meets the official community plan’s criteria for licensed retail stores.
“In this case, the proposal is consistent with the liquor store re-zoning criteria, which identified the fit of the proposal within the context, and also considered proximity of sensitive land uses such as schools to the proposed location,” Holm said.
The criteria suggest liquor retail shouldn’t be within 150 metres of a school and the nearest school, McGirr Elementary, is more than 400m away, a staff report noted. Van Land Use Consulting, in a letter on behalf of the applicant, noted that the nearest existing liquor store is more than a kilometre away.
“Approval of this location would fill a large void that the residents of this area are currently facing, and would provide a walkable option to their nearest neighbourhood liquor store,” noted Van Land Use principal Joseph Van Vliet in correspondence with the city.
The applicant provided a letter of support signed by 57 residents who live within half a kilometre of the location. The letter noted that Liquor Mart operates multiple liquor stores in B.C. and has a “solid track record” with the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
The applicant is proposing a community amenity contribution of $10,000 to the City of Nanaimo to be divided between the housing legacy reserve fund and park improvements in north Nanaimo.
Notably, the applicant is tranferring its necessary liquor store licence from Hazelton, B.C., which is permitted under LCRB policies. The LCRB has already provided approval in principle for the liquor store licence’s transfer.
Council passed first and second reading of the re-zoning application unanimously.
A public hearing is planned for Jan. 20.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information. The City of Nanaimo received a re-zoning application sent on behalf of 7-Eleven Canada Inc. The News Bulletin regrets the error and any confusion it may have caused.