With the Howard Johnson Hotel Millstone Gateway redevelopment proposal on the table, plans are afoot to move the nearby Tally-Ho Beer and Wine store.
A rezoning application seeks relocation to the West Marine location at Brooks Landing.
Dan Brady, Nanaimo Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel general manager, said the store needs to move due to the hotel and sports arena multiplex proposal. Also, the economic climate has changed.
“The business in the downtown core is basically dried up,” said Brady. “The shopping trends of people, they’ve changed and people are looking for that one-stop shopping, where they go to grocery store. They park the car once and they do their shopping.”
According to David Stewart, City of Nanaimo planner, the plan is at an early stage and requires site-specific rezoning. The process includes a public hearing, meetings of council, a review by the social planning and planning and transportation advisory committees.
“Staff review of these applications includes consideration of the liquor store siting criteria that was previously adopted by council,” said Stewart. “Criteria includes minimum distances from schools, and in this case it’s staff’s opinion the application doesn’t comply. The application will ultimately be considered and decided upon by council.”
Woodland Secondary School is located across Island Highway from Brooks Landing, while Cilaire Elementary situated across Departure Bay Road.
Brady said the Tally-Ho has a clean record and hasn’t had issues with underage service and he doesn’t foresee issues if the new site is approved.
“Woodlands is across a fairly major highway and then on the Departure Bay side, [Cilaire] is on the backside of the mall, so the school won’t be [facing] the liquor store at all. I don’t think that there’s kids in elementary school that are going looking for liquor sales,” said Brady.
He pointed out that the Tally-Ho is currently located in the vicinity of Ecole Pauline Haarer Elementary and there haven’t been issues.
The related social planning advisory committee meeting takes place Tuesday (Aug. 4) and the planning and transportation advisory committee meeting on Aug. 18, according to Stewart.
The Brechin Hill Community Association and Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association were contacted for comment but didn’t respond in time for press.
If you are interested in attending Tuesday’s meeting, please contact Stewart at 250-755-4429.