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City of Powell River committee hears proposal for brewery expansion

Townsite Brewing wants permanent patio and expanded seating
SEEKING APPROVAL: Townsite Brewing wants to increase the number of patrons it can accommodate and make its temporary expanded service area a permanent licenced patio.

City of Powell River council will consider approval of an expansion of seating at Townsite Brewing.

At the November 2 committee of the whole meeting, senior planner Daniella Fergusson outlined a proposal of a structural change that would make the brewery’s temporary expanded service area a permanent licensed patio, accommodating 14 people, and an increase in indoor capacity from 45 to 58 persons.

Fergusson said council had seen a number of applications from Townsite Brewing. She said in 2020 the business applied for a temporary expanded service area, which was a liquor and cannabis regulation branch (LCRB) initiative to help with physical distancing outside so people could consume their beverages. Council responded with no objection, added Fergusson.

Also in June of that year, the applicant applied for a development permit to relax setbacks and parking requirements and this resulted in Townsite Brewing being able to put in a front patio, said Fergusson.

“What council is considering today is an application to make the temporary expanded service area, or front patio, permanent, and also to increase occupancy,” said Fergusson.

Under the proposed changes, the patio area could be covered, heating could be provided and there would be table service, according to Fergusson.

She said that council, in considering the LCRB referral, should consider the impact to the community as a whole, as well as noise impacts to adjacent neighbours.

“Townsite Brewing is a destination for the broader community as well as a destination for tourists,” said Fergusson. “The immediately adjacent neighbours or businesses are not likely to be impacted much by noise. The nearest residences are the homes on managers’ row [Marine Avenue], and they are located more than 200 feet away.”

Fergusson said it has been common practice by the city to opt out of providing comments on structural change applications to the LCRB, however, if council does want to provide comment and gather public input, staff can do that.

“If council opts out, which is staff’s recommendation, then the LCRB would be gathering that public input,” said Fergusson.

Councillor Jim Palm asked if Townsite Brewing still had its outdoor seating at the back of the building.

Fergusson said that is in place.

Palm then said in order to expand the seating area inside, his understanding is that food has to be served. He asked if food is being served.

Fergusson said she was not sure about that requirement but food has been made available, not by an internal kitchen at the brewery, but by other food providers.

The committee gave unanimous consent to send the matter to city council on November 18.

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