Quesnel City Council is providing pre-approval to cover all liquor primary and manufacturer establishments in the area to apply for a Temporary Expanded Service Area Authorization (Observer - File Photo)

City pre-approves temporary expanded service areas for all liquor primary and manufacturer establishments

The initiative will support businesses required to be at 50 per cent capacity due to COVID-19

Quesnel City Council has agreed to advise the Liquor Control and Licensing Board that the City is providing pre-approval to cover all liquor primary and manufacturer establishments in the area to apply for a Temporary Expanded Service Area Authorization.

Tanya Turner the Director of Development Service for the City of Quesnel provided a report regarding temporary expanded service area authorizations an during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 2 .

The report stated that due to health and safety restrictions placed on food and beverage service establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic many communities along with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulations Branch are looking for ways to expedite and simplify approvals for service area expansions.

Under the COVID-19 guidelines, restaurants and bars are required to limit their capacity to 50 per cent in order to allow for appropriate social distancing. Therefore, many establishments wish to gain more space, such as outdoor seating areas, to allow for additional patrons to dine at facilities where room and capacity exists.

In order to support businesses the Liquor and Cannabis Regulations Branch (LCRB) has issued a policy directive which will allow for the temporary expansion of service areas until October 30, 2020. While the City will not receive applications from businesses regarding the temporary expansions directly, businesses are still required to ensure that they meet all city bylaws and provincial legislation.

The LCRB is requesting that municipalities advise them whether or not they want to provide a pre-approval for this process for Liquor Primary and Manufacturing businesses in the community.

Quesnel City Council has directed staff to advise the Liquor Control and Licensing Board that the City is providing pre-approval to cover all liquor primary and manufacturer establishments in our area to apply for a Temporary Expanded Service Area Authorization.

As of Tuesday, June 2 only the Barkerville Brewing Company is in the process of making this application and council has also approved staff to permit the further encroachment of the breweries patio with a simple agreement from the brewery that the encroachment agreement provisions be extended to this area only until October 30,2020.

Quesnel City Councillor Ron Paull questioned whether there had been any discussion as to the City’s potential liability regarding the expanded service are for which Barkerville Brewing is seeking access to.

“I am thinking particularly about the Barkerville Brewing encroachment onto city right of way that we will certainly be addressing any liability risk that might fall out of that?”

Turner responded that the conversation has been had with the brewery and that the City would not be liable for that expanded service area.

“In our existing encroachment agreement we require that the facility has us as an additional insured in terms of their existing encroachment agreement,” said Turner. “We are going to make sure that’s covered off in this new area and any policy we bring you any updates will also require that for any expanded service area.”

Council has also directed staff to review and recommend policies and guidelines that will expedite and relieve restrictions on businesses attempting to expand their service areas while ensuring safety and accessibility requirements are not compromised.

READ MORE: Pandemic-related restaurant closures take an emotional and financial toll



sasha.sefter@quesnelobserver.com

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