West Kelowna pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and wineries can now apply to expand their area of use for the time being so they can promote physical distancing.
The city’s council members voted to provide pre-approval for liquor primary, food primary and manufacturer establishments to apply for a temporary licence to expand their areas so they can follow physical distancing requirements.
The licence for the expanded area of use will be valid until Oct. 30, and is supported by the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
The LCRB gave the city two options: to provide blanket approval for all wineries, breweries, and restaurants to expand service foot areas in the city. The second option given was to look at each establishment as a site-specific application.
West Kelowna council voted in favour of the first option, which means the process will be more streamlined and will allow businesses to reopen safely.
Councillor Rick De Jong immediately supported the motion.
“As we reopen from COVID-19, if we can be more streamlined and more nimble to meet the needs of those local businesses, I think that’s better,” he said.
“I do also see this as a bit of a litmus test to what’s going on in our community… I think giving pre-approval and moving these processes forward for these businesses is important, but I also would like staff to report back to council periodically.”
The rest of council also supported the motion, with the amendment that city staff will monitor the applications so they can report back to council.
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