The Station Pub is planning on reconfiguring its layout and adding a deck facing Kinsmen Beach, and at the most recent Invermere council meeting made a formal application to council for a structural change to an existing patio and amendment to its existing liquor licence.
The three council members present at the Tuesday, March 24th council meeting (councillors Paul Denchuk and Justin Atterbury were absent) debated having the district hold a public hearing on the application or simply letting the matter go on to BC Liquor Control Branch and having that organization do its own public consultation process. Invermere planner Rory Hromadnik pointed out that both options are considered due process and that it’s essentially a matter of preference of council whether it wishes for the district to carry out the public consultation or to have the liquor control branch carry out the public consultation.
“The process has to happen. It’s a question of whether we do it as the district or the liquor board does it,” said Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, adding in the past typically Invermere has decided to hold public hearings on these types of matter, but that Radium Hot Springs has typically turned that responsibility over to the liquor board.
Councillor Greg Anderson asked whether holding a public hearing meant the district has ultimate say in the matter or whether council would simply pass the results of the public hearing on the liquor board in the form of a recommendation, and the board would then be making its own decision.
Taft confirmed that council would only be able to make a recommendation to the liquor board based on the public hearing, but added from what he’s seen it would be a rare occurrence for the board to make a decision that goes against the recommendation of a council.
“We (the district) have got a lot coming up (the multi-use centre and Official Community Plan update bylaw), and if the liquor board gets the final say, I think this is something we can put to the side and let the liquor board deal with. There will still be public consultation, the public can still have a say and we don’t have to pile any more on district staff’s plate than they’ve already got,” said Anderson.
In the end the three councillors voted unanimously to not provide comments on the application and allow the liquor board to complete the consultation process.
The proposed application would transfer about 50 seats from the Station Pub’s existing patio and what it calls its family room to the new deck (for which the pub already has a building permit). There would be no change to the overall capacity of the pub’s liquor license (168 food primary seats) and the pub plans to expand its kitchen area into what is now the family room.
Steels granted subsidy
Council also agreed at the Tuesday, March 24th meeting to give another grant to Ed and Sue Steel to subsidize their water bill in return for the Steels continually donating a part of their lot to Eileen Madson Primary School to use as the school garden.
The district last year gave the Steels a $200 grant to help offset the water cost associated with the garden.
“I think it’s a really good project for the kids and the Steels have been generous in giving their garden,” said Anderson.
Council voted unanimously to give the Steels another $200 grant this year.
EMP concerns continue
Invermere resident Ev McGilvery sent a letter to council, received at the meeting, citing safety concerns for schoolkids heading to Eileen Madson Primary school on 15th Avenue such as the lack of a sidewalk, centre line and shoulder in places.
Council member agreed to keep such issue in mind during future budget
Citizen questions Cenotaph Park work
Invermere resident John Rouse questioned council about progress on renovations at Cenotaph Park at the end of the council meeting, curious to know where the projects stands.
Hromadnik responded that it is progressing well, and that an engineer and geotechnical expert had been on site the previous day and given a go-ahead for work to proceed.
“Everything is on track. The flags are ordered, the benches are ordered,” said Hromadnik.
“We were hoping there would’ve been more work done last fall. But it’s a tendered contract with a fixed price, so how and when they do the work is up to the company doing the work,” said Taft.
The work, which is being done by Max Helmer Construction Ltd., will be wrapped up prior to the Victoria Day long weekend in May.