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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John Council is moving forward with a developer’s proposal that could see a liquor store built at the intersection of 112 Avenue and 86 Street.

In October, City Council denied the request from the owner of On the Rocks to amend the zoning of the lot, which would allow for a liquor store to be built alongside a convenience store. The property, which is zoned for C-1 Neighbourhood Commercial is within 300 metres of the Christian Life School, 100 metres of the Fort St. John Hospital, and 50 metres of a proposed school site, and is also within close proximity of residential homes and Surerus Park. A liquor store is only permitted on lots zoned C-2 Downtown Core, C-3 General Commercial and C-4 Service Commercial.

At Monday’s meeting, councillors disagreed with staff’s recommendation to deny the proponent’s new application to spot-zone the property. Spot zoning would allow a Council to approve the application to build a liquor store on just that property, and keep liquor stores out of other land zoned as C-1. The proposed building would be roughly 4,000 square feet in size, with the liquor store and convenience store both being 2,000 square feet.

“The liquor and convenience store could be very useful for that area. I haven’t bought into completely writing it off. I did like the alternative, limit the size of it and we would go to a public hearing where the public can voice their opinions, said acting Mayor Bryon Stewart. “The elementary school is not across the street from it. There is a big difference between 16 and 18-year-old students compared to 12 and under students.”

“I live in that area and would love to get the opportunity to get my neighbours feedback on it. It’s a great way for the community to feel a part of the decision,” added Councillor Lilia Hansen.

Council passed a resolution that would allow for the spot-zoning of the property to allow a liquor store to be built, provided the size of the liquor store doesn’t exceed the proposed size. A public meeting has been scheduled for December 11th at 6:00 p.m.

Below is video from Fort St. John City Council on November 27. This video shows the entire debate.

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