White Rock council has voted to keep their thoughts on an application to increase the licensed capacity of a Marine Drive pub to themselves.
“Given it is one of our councillors who is a proponent for this, it puts council in a very awkward position,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said Monday, in explaining his suggestion to simply forward public and staff comments regarding the Sandpiper Pub application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
Pub owners – one of them Coun. Bill Lawrence – have asked to increase the number of patrons allowed at the 15595 Marine Dr. establishment to 115 from 65.
Lawrence, who won a seat in last fall’s byelection, told Peace Arch News in January – following a temporary suspension of the pub’s liquor licence that resulted from being found over-capacity – that an application to change the limit had been made.
After gathering comment from White Rock fire and police officials, city staff recommended the increase be capped at 110 (plus seven employees).
At a public hearing last month, residents voiced concerns including that an increase would exasperate early-morning noise that is already dealt with at closing time.
One resident who spoke in favour of the application told council the increase would benefit the community by bringing more people and business to the area.
While council could have added their thoughts, they voted unanimously (with Lawrence excused from the discussion and vote) not to.
The final decision will be made by the LCLB.