The City of Delta is eyeing changes to its zoning bylaw that would allow small-scale breweries, cideries and distilleries to operate “brew pubs” in more areas of the municipality.
On Monday night, Delta council voted unanimously for staff to prepare and bring forward a zoning bylaw amendment that would change the definition of brew pub to include other types of alcohol, set a maximum floor area for the manufacturing of alcohol on site and expand the number of zones in which brew pubs are permitted.
The manufacturing of alcohol —including beer — is regulated at the provincial level and manufacturers can apply for licence endorsements to allow lounges, special event areas, picnic areas or on-site stores. Provincial legislation does not differentiate between brew pubs and breweries, and either type of facility can apply for those endorsements.
As regulating land use falls to municipal governments however, applications for certain types of endorsement or amendments to endorsements are referred by the province to city councils for comment.
Currently under Delta’s zoning bylaw, brew pubs are classified as a commercial use whereas breweries are classified as a light industrial use. A report by city staff notes Delta’s bylaw does not “define the parameters or a scale of beer manufacturing that would be appropriate in a commercial context,” though it does require that the beer must be served on-site.
The report does not state whether there are currently any licensed brew pubs in Delta, however city staff confirmed to the Reporter that there is only one, and that is Four Winds Brewing in Tilbury (4 – 7355 72nd St.).
Since 2015, alcohol manufacturing has been allowed on properties within the Agricultural Land Reserve, provided at least 50 per cent of the primary farm product used to make the beverage is harvested from said property. ALR land use regulations also allow for an associated “food and beverage service lounge” provided the area doesn’t exceed 125 square metres indoors and 125 square metres outdoors.
However, the report notes, Delta has not yet updated its bylaw to include those permitted uses, meaning any new brewery, meadery, cidery, distillery or winery would require rezoning in addition to the appropriate licence and endorsement(s) from the Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
There is one brewery currently under construction on agricultural land in Delta — Barnside Brewing, located at 6655 60th Ave. in Ladner — and it’s set to open early this fall pending certain approvals. There won’t be a brew pub on the premises but the brewery will have a tasting lounge.
After looking at regulations in other B.C. municipalities, staff recommended setting a maximum manufacturing floor area to restrict manufacturing in commercial areas “as it would be challenging to confirm and monitor production volumes, and restricting the floor area by a percentage of the total building would impede smaller operations.” Staff have yet to determine what that maximum floor area should be.
Staff also recommended amending the definition of brew pub in the zoning bylaw to include other types of alcohol so cideries and/or distilleries can establish commercial-scale operations similar to breweries without the need for rezoning.
According to the report, brew pubs are currently allowed in Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta’s core commercial areas, as well as in industrial and industrially-zoned agricultural areas. Several other zones (golf course and agriculture, core commercial A, limited private recreation, mixed use Ladner waterfront, airport terminal industrial, and public parks and recreation) only allow for liquor-primary establishments.
Staff further recommended expanding the permitted uses for core commercial A, limited private recreation and mixed use Ladner waterfront to include brew pubs.
The report notes that the bylaw governing commercial properties which were zoned as a “comprehensive development” zone prior to the adoption of Delta’s zoning bylaw in April 2018 (such as those within Southlands Village) does not allow any beer manufacturing nor does it include a definition for brew pub.
“Staff recommend that as the … zones were specifically crafted for those sites and because a brew pub may not be appropriate in every case, no blanket rezoning and text amendments be made for those properties,” the report says. “Proposals for brew pubs where they are not currently allowed would be subject to rezoning (including a public hearing and council approval) and would be considered on their own merits.”
During discussion at council Monday night, Mayor George Harvie noted that earlier in the day he had directed staff to include Southlands Village among the zones the bylaw amendment would allow to have brew pubs.
Delta’s director of community planning and development, Marcy Sangret, assured council that Southlands Village would be included on that list when the amendment is presented to council for approval.