FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – City council rejected the amendment to allow a spot zone for a liquor/convenience store on the northeast side of the city.

Nearly 70 city residents attended the public meeting on Monday night, none of whom were in favour of the proposal. As members of council took turns in reading letters that had not been received earlier in the day, of which 15 letters were in favour and just over 130 were in opposition. Numerous City residents voiced their concerns to council including an increase in crime, drinking and driving and traffic in the area. They also brought up the fact that the quiet and peaceful quality of life, property value and proximity to elementary schools would be affected greatly.

Back in October, the owner of On The Rocks submitted a proposal to move the On The Rocks liquor store from its current location in the Northgate Mall and build a new convenience store on a vacant lot on the corner of 86th St. and 112th Ave. Council denied his application to have all properties zoned C-1, which the lot in question is zoned, amended to allow for a liquor store to be built.

The owner then reapplied at the end of November to have the vacant lot spot-zoned to allow the liquor store to be built. Spot zoning would allow 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. Councillors agreed that the best course of action would be to hear from area residents about their thoughts on the proposal.

Council members unanimously defeated the amendment of the proposed liquor/convenience store.

Below is a copy of the entire public hearing.