A decision to approve or reject a proposal by Four Winds Brewing to add a craft brewery and 200-seat restaurant, as well as a craft distillery and winery, to the commercial component of the Southlands development has been postponed until at least next month.
Following a near three-hour public hearing that packed city hall Tuesday night, council decided to move further discussion on the matter to its April 8 council meeting.
Mayor George Harvie said council can discuss the application with staff, ask questions of staff and discuss the application amongst council, but now that the public hearing is closed, no new information from the applicant or the public can be accepted.
“For myself, I’d like to have time to review the issues that were raised both for and those opposed to this project,” said Harvie. “It is one that all of council should be taking time to review, sit down with staff with concerns or questions.”
The current proposal would see the craft brewery and restaurant housed in a 30,000-square-foot building that would be up to 51 feet in height. It would contain the brewing and bottling components of the operation, while the warehousing and distribution would be handled at an industrial location elsewhere.
The distillery and winery would be in buildings of no more than 6,000 square feet.
According to the city’s planning department, the proposed uses are consistent with the original vision for the Southlands.
In the days leading up to the public hearing, Delta received 38 letters from residents who expressed concerns or opposed the application as well as two petitions, one signed by 144 area residents and another signed by 20 area residents. Sixteen letters were received by Delta in favour of the application.
At Tuesday’s public hearing, 16 residents spoke against while nine spoke in favour.
Residents opposed questioned the size of the development, the increase in traffic, the odour and waste that would be coming from the facility, the close proximity to homes and whether the type of development being proposed now was envisioned when Delta council gave approval for the Century Group to build 950 housing units and 80,000 square feet of commercial space on the property.
“Our concern is about the scope and size, traffic and the decades and decades of opposition of this area being developed,” said resident Gregg Garbe. “After listening to the applicant, what I have heard is no consideration for the residents. As residents of Boundary Bay we are in your hands. Your obligation and duty to the citizens who elected you is to please listen to the residents of Boundary Bay for what we have already endured. With those many seats, feeding booze to people on a two-lane road in Boundary Bay how will this care for the well-being and safety of our community?
“I have no issue with the applicant – Four Winds Brewery – I understand they make fine beer and they seem like very good people, but if I have to make a choice between having a brewery and someone making a profit and we as a community are collateral damage, then the answer to me is a clear, 100 per cent no.”
Those speaking in favour, including representatives from the Delta Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Delta, spoke of Four Winds’ award-winning products, their support of the community, what the operation would bring to enhance the quality of life and entertainment options in the community and creating a destination tourism opportunity.
“This is exciting. This is something I would go to, take friends too and keep me in this community,” said resident Brad Semke, Southlands project manager. “It’s addressing some of those needs of those 20 to 40-year-olds. I live in Boundary Bay. I can’t wait to live in the Southlands – to live there with this craft brewery and this restaurant facility. I can’t think of a better place within the market district of the Southlands to have this restaurant, to have this craft brewery to have these artisans apply their craft and be willing to share it with us.”