DeMille’s Farm Market wants to add liquor to the list of products it sells.
Applicant Brad DeMille is making what’s called a ‘non-farm-use application’ to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to include retail liquor sales so the farm market can sell local wines, beer and cider.
A report from the city’s planning department explains that retail sales in the Agricultural Land Reserve are supposed to be directly related to items produced on the farm. More specifically, the ALC regulations stipulate that at least 50 per cent of the retail sales area must be used for the sale of farm product produced on that farm. The off-farm origin liquor sales are an expansion of the non-farm retail sales and is considered a non-farm-use of the property.
On Dec. 8, the majority of the city’s agricultural advisory committee recommended that city council support DeMille’s application. Committee members John McLeod and James Hanna were opposed, while Ron Ganert abstained from voting.
Planning staff, meanwhile, have recommended that council should forward DeMille’s application to the ALC for a decision.
If it is approved by the ALC, a city zoning bylaw amendment and provincial liquor licensing would then be required.
Brad DeMille said this is DeMille’s 50th year in business.
“This has taken 50 years to decide, so we’re not jumping in with eyes wide shut.”
He said no new space would be added to the building and no new structures would be built; contents of the market would simply be rearranged. With the market using more than 50 food suppliers, he sees the addition of local wines, beers and ciders as a perfect complement.
DeMille added that the farm market has a payroll of more than $600,000 this year, showing the value of eco-tourism to the local economy. He said DeMille’s seven-day-a-week presence would also benefit the liquor producers.
“If you’re an Albertan, why shouldn’t I sell you a bottle of wine to go back home with you, he said, adding that matching an apple or peach cider from a B.C company that sells 300,000 pounds of apples a year makes sense.
Council will consider DeMille’s request at the Jan. 4 development and planning committee meeting.