Citing traffic concerns, West Kelowna city council chose not to endorse a winery’s application to host special events.
Located in the Gellatly Neighbourhood at 3930 Harding Road, Crown of Thieves winery applied for a lounge and special event liquor license which would allow a 146-person lounge and 150-person event space. It would serve liquor until 11 p.m.
Owners proposed hosting events in a large basement, which could hold all patrons. During a special event, it was explained all 150 patrons would move from upstairs, to downstairs.
The matter was brought before council on Jan. 12.
Two members of the public cited concerns with access and traffic impacts, noise impacts, and the late hours of operation.
From hosting special events in the basement to developing the winery in the far corner of the property away from homes, staff had recommended council support the application. However, council did not echo this approval.
Coun. de Jong was among several who cited concerns with traffic flow, especially when an event is held at the winery.
“I can’t support it with all the traffic coming down Harding. It would be nice to maybe have a deferral and give the applicant a bit more time to dig in on this issue,” he said.
Access to the property has always been via Angus Drive and Harding Rd. Staff said the developers are doing “the best they can” with a property that “isn’t perfect” in terms of access.
“The access through those roads… I’m concerned about the volume, and the condition of those roads,” said Coun. Stephen Johnston, who also recommended a deferral.
Council were excited about the project overall, and complimented its unique design, but could not endorse the project based on traffic concerns.
Mayor and Council postponed endorsing the licence until they see evidence of sufficient road and pedestrian access and parking.
This delay to their lounge and special event liquor license does not prevent Crown of Thieves from opening to the public, as a winery, in the summer.
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