Beer garden plan panned

A proposal to serve liquor in the back parking lot of the former Old Dog Pub during the Sturgis North Motorcycle Rally and Music Festival has failed to get the green light from city council.

Bert Hick of Rising Tide Consultants addressed Monday’s meeting of the city’s development and planning services meeting,  requesting support for a temporary change to the liquor licence of the newly named Sturgis North pub.

He said the pub wishes to increase the licence to accommodate 90 additional patrons in the back parking lot to complement a show and shine to be held there during the event.

The beer garden would take up 12 parking spots and would be fenced and gated with an eight-foot chain link fence and green mesh. He said the pub has made arrangements with the McGuire Lake Seniors Lodge next door to lease 14 parking spots to replace the 12 being used for the beer garden.

Because Mayor Marty Bootsma and Coun. Chad Eliason were absent, and Coun. Kevin Flynn does not take part in Sturgis-related items due to the potential for a perceived conflict of interest, just four councillors dealt with the preliminary request. Although they agreed to forward it to the June 13 meeting of council, none of them voiced support for the plan.

As well as requesting the support of council, the applicant must get approval from the province’s liquor control and licensing branch.

Coun. Ken Jamieson said his issue is with compatibility.

“In my opinion, having beer gardens on-site is not compatible with the surrounding residential area, especially for seniors,” he said. “I think adequate outdoor facilities are being planned for the festival. My issue lies with compatibility or incompatibility.”

Coun. Debbie Cannon concurred, saying she would be willing to discuss it more at the council meeting.

“I don’t think it’s the right place to have it outdoors next to a seniors centre… I see if we were to approve this, we would have other bars coming to council wanting to use their parking lots.”

Coun. Ivan Idzan brought up parking concerns, wondering about the requirements for the pub as well as the seniors facility.

Coun. Alan Harrison asked if residents would be given a chance to provide input on the proposal.

Corey Paiement, the city’s director of development services, told him it’s not a city requirement, but the provincial licensing body could request it.


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