(File)

Kelowna city planners want to ban drive-thrus to reduce GHG emissions

‘While drive-thrus represent a convenient way for many to pick up a meal, it cannot be said that they are a necessity’

A proposal for a new drive-thru restaurant has been met with sharp opposition from City of Kelowna planners.

Council will review plans for a new Triple O’s restaurant at Highway 97 and Sexsmith Road on May 12. The report from planning staff suggests council not support the application, claiming rejection is a straightforward way for the city to both reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enact the city’s climate action plan.

In the report, the planning department also outlines its intentions to devise a bylaw to prevent new drive-thrus as they “impede walkability and encourage unnecessary idling, which wastes fuel and unnecessarily contributes to GHG emissions.”

“While drive-thrus represent a convenient way for many to pick up a meal, it cannot be said that they are a necessity,” reads the report by city planner Aaron Thibeault. “Rather, it is a choice, and a choice that comes with a cost.”

A city study, conducted in the summer of 2015, which recorded the drive-thru behaviour of 186 vehicles over three days, found that 96 per cent of the cars idled for more than one minute, and the average time spent idling was four minutes 12 seconds.

The report states the average car produces 69 grams of CO2 per minute when idling. Taking the numbers from the study, the average car moving through a drive-through produces 290 grams of CO2.

“When multiplied by the hundreds of cars moving through Kelowna’s drive-throughs daily, the numbers quickly compound,” wrote Thibeault.

“Eliminating drive-thrus may represent a small inconvenience to many, but it also represents a relatively easy win in our efforts to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change and one that stands to have a significant impact in the long-run.”

As the Triple O’s is proposed on industrial land, council would need to grant a variance for the drive-thru to be allowed.

READ MORE: Kelowna council looks to ban spiked fences to prevent wildlife injury, death

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP not liable for accused’s injuries after pursuit: police watchdog

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@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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