City of Surrey to streamline liquor-licence procedures

The motion gives Surrey staff the ability to extend operating times, increase occupancy limits

The process of amending a liquor licence is to be more streamlined, according to the City of Surrey.

A motion adopted this month will entrust city staff with a number of applications that previously had to go through council.

Those include requests to extend operating times by up to an hour, to increase occupancy size and to allow lounges at liquor manufacturers.

The goal is to speed up the process for business owners. The amendments will apply to bars, restaurants and manufacturers across the city.

The new process for the licenses was possible due to new provincial changes, Lee-Anne Pitcairn, senior planner for the City of Surrey, told Peace Arch News.

“New provincial legislation allowed us to create a bylaw that gives staff the authority (to process amendment applications),” Pitcairn said, noting it will also reduce fees for applicants.

According to Cassandra Togneri, senior public affairs officer for the provincial liquor distribution branch, the legislation allows municipalities to create new bylaws that take advantage of the relegation.

“Local governments can create bylaws or resolutions where staff can comment on anything that the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch would normally require them to comment on,” she said by email, adding that it’s not a requirement for local governments to do this.

Staff are to consider public feedback in terms of community impact, noise and the effect on a business.

If there are concerns, city council will then look over the application.

Peace Arch News