City council mulls bylaw change for microbreweries

It may be a while before the kegs are tapped, but the City of Red Deer approved a step towards making it easier to develop microbreweries.

It may be a while before the kegs are tapped, but the City of Red Deer approved a step towards making it easier to develop microbreweries.

Microbreweries are not defined under the city’s land use bylaw. A site specific bylaw is required for any such development. The Drummond Brewery Company in Edgar Industrial Park had to do just that.

Recent inquiries into developing microbreweries led city administration to recommend adding them as a use in two areas under redevelopment: Rail Yards and Riverlands.

Though council approved gave first reading to the amendment Monday, with only Tanya Handley voting against the amendment, there was considerable concern about only approving the use in two areas in the city. Councillors Ken Johnston, Lawrence Lee, Frank Wong and Handley all wondered aloud whether it was appropriate to isolate microbreweries to two areas the city is redeveloping.

Wong suggested adding it as a use in commercial zones and not just in these two areas.

The proposed amendment would add them as direct control, still requiring approval for development.

The bylaw was designed to ensure different uses on site including either a tasting room or restaurant with the manufacturing side of the microbrewery taking up, at most, 70 per cent of floor space.

Notice of public hearing will be given to local land owners and, in the event of a development application there would also be a public notice.

Christi Fidek, City of Red Deer planner, said the site specific bylaw process takes about four to six months, while adding it as a discretionary use expedites the development process.

With first reading given, the matter will return to council at a future date for a public hearing before being voted on again.

In other Council news:

l Council directed city administration to develop major area structure plan and neighbourhood area structure plan amendments to ensure fire protection levels remain constant during the construction of new fire halls.

There are five fire halls in the city, however city expansion has necessitated the relocation of Stations 3 and 4 to provide adequate fire protection to the city’s east end. The Station 4, located in Deer Park, will be moved to Timberlands and Station 3, located at 32nd Street near 40th Avenue, will be moved to 30th Avenue and Lee Street near the Collicutt Centre.

The city will retain Station 3, which currently houses Red Deer Emergency Services administration and fire prevention services, and will add the city’s relocated 911 emergency communications centre.

l Lyn Radford, Red Deer Games Foundation director, outlined the next steps in the city’s preparation for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. She said they are in the very early stages of planning it and the Canada Winter Games Council is focused on the upcoming winter games in Prince George.

By February, Radford believes they will need 20 volunteers to start the process of readying for the games. A transition team will need to be assembled consisting of a chair, four members and liaisons from each of the City of Red Deer administration and the Canada Games Council.

There will also need to be a host society formed, who will develop a business plan for the games. The host society board of directors will comprise 15 members with one each from business, legal and financial backgrounds.

These organizations will lay the groundwork for the readying the city for the games, said Radford.

l Council tabled an alcohol and drug strategy report, with the hope to get a better discussion on the city’s role in relation to the strategy. Councillor Paul Harris moved, and only Ken Johnston and Dianne Wyntjes opposed, the report to be tabled, saying he wanted a discussion to better define the city’s role.

In the meantime the organization that developed the report, the Central Alberta Addictions Consortium, was encouraged by the city to continue delivering front-line services. Administration had recommended referring the report to the city’s newly developed community safety ad-hoc committee, who would then identify the appropriate city role and strategy within the community plan, after consultation with the community, and bring recommendations to council.

Council chose to bring the strategy back for the discussion within the next three months.

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