Liquor in Nanaimo grocery stores will require rezoning process

NANAIMO – City responds to changes to the provincial liquor control legislation.

Nanaimo city politicians will continue to call the shots on where liquor is sold, deciding Monday that grocers must win the right to sell B.C. wine, sake and cider through a rezoning process.

Nanaimo city council decided Monday that grocery stores owners will have to meet certain criteria and apply to rezone, if they want to stock shelves with B.C. wine, sake and cider.

Politicians also agreed to review the city’s liquor control strategy to reflect new provincial rules. The document was crafted 12 years ago.

The province has been rolling out new changes to liquor control legislation and policy, including allowing select grocery stores to carry B.C. wine, cider and sake on shelves, or create a store within a store, if they can meet provincial standards and get a licence. No more than 57 wine licences are expected to be available in the province and there are 12 retailers in Nanaimo that city staff members believe would be eligible.

Until now, however, Nanaimo’s zoning bylaw hasn’t addressed alcohol in grocery stores for owners licenced to sell. Council agreed 6-1 to have staff members bring back a zoning bylaw change to add the definition of wine in grocery stores to its bylaw and create criteria for future rezoning applications.

It’s the option gives council the highest amount of control, according to city planner Dave Stewart.

Other options, which included blanket approval of wine in grocery stores as a retail use, or allowing groceries to sell wine where liquor store already exist, died on the vine.

Coun. Diane Brennan wanted to allow wine sales only where liquor stores already exist, while other groceries would have to rezone. It’s a continuation of past practice, said Brennan, who pointed out that if a liquor outlet is on the property the city would have already gone to the community, had a public hearing and determined liquor sales fit the neighbourhood.

But Coun. Jerry Hong argued that it doesn’t seem fair. Thrifty Foods at Longwood Station, for example, would be allowed to sell wine, while Quality Foods across the street would have to rezone.

“If we’re going to play fair it’s either we allow all of them to do it, or none of them and come to council,” said Hong, who also voted against ancillary wine sales because of the need for public input and to help local businesses.

Allowing wine in grocery stores would have nixed the need for grocery stores to apply to city council.

Only Coun. Bill Bestwick was opposed to having grocery stores apply for rezoning.

The vote for a liquor control strategy was unanimous. Work is expected to get underway in early 2016.

Just Posted

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Most Read