By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
While they are currently not considering any changes to their bylaws, Stirling mayor Trevor Lewington says they are waiting to see how the market responds to the passage of Bill 2.
Bill 2 — the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Amendment Act — had received royal assent and came into force on June 17, and amended the AGLC Act to rescind Sec. 54, which prohibited liquor licensing in areas of Warner and Cardston counties. Lewington said it was an “interesting piece of law”, as prohibition had been maintained in the area for some time.
A May survey performed by the Village of Stirling saw 335 responses, with about 54 per cent either supportive or indifferent to increased liquor licensing in the area.
Currently, Lewington says there’s no applications before the village for a permanent liquor license that he is aware of, and they do not have any current plans to change their bylaws in response to it. However, later this year they may look at changing the village’s Land Use Bylaw in response.
“Typically, a Land Use Bylaw would have a number of permitted discretionary and prohibited uses. For commercial lots, for example, you can say that if somebody came forward with a doctor’s office, that would be okay, but if somebody wanted to have a heavy duty mechanical shop, that would be discretionary and would need some sort of further review,” said Lewington. “You could do the same thing with liquor stores or even restaurants that want to serve alcohol, it could be they are only allowed in certain locations or they have to be a certain distance from each other, or they have to have certain other review processes in place.”
Lewington noted that there tends be restrictions, for example, on how close liquor stores can be to places such as a school, and there are also provincial rules that govern them as well.
Any potential changes to the LUB would not affect things such as beer gardens for events, as people can get a special liquor licence for them under the village’s existing legislation.
“What’s changed is now the ability for somebody to have a permanent liquor license, either for a retail store or liquor service in a restaurant. Special events were always allowed on a one-time basis.”