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Tuesday April 24th, 2012  
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Quote of the Week
"It's unfortunate but necessary that we turn to the courts to protect this extraordinary landscape."
- Gordon Petersen  


Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council approved second and third readings of an amendment to the Municipal Land Use Bylaw which allows liquor stores as a discretionary use under C2 Drive-in Commercial zoning.
First reading of the amendment was approved unanimously at the March 20th Council meeting, after Development Officer Ryan Dyck informed Council that the application - which was submitted in order to accommodate a future development permit application for a liquor store to be located on a parcel of land adjacent to the Fas Gas service station in Frank - had been approved unanimously by the Subdivision and Development Authority (SDA) Board at their February 22nd meeting.
Prior to discussion and voting, Council entertained a public hearing on the amendment, allowing those in favour of and opposed to the bylaw amendment to speak.
Local resident Barbara Janusz spoke against the proposed amendment, stating that she was concerned mainly due to the proliferation of liquor stores in Crowsnest Pass and other Alberta communities.
“This has become a very contentious issue,” said Janusz.
“We already have a number of liquor stores in this community.”
Janusz went on to state that one of the purposes of municipal governing bodies is to develop and maintain safe and viable communities.
“This Council should be considering the social impacts of such a bylaw, as well as considering their role in determining whether we want to be that kind of a community,” she said.
Frankslide Liquor Store owner Matthew Tartal then spoke, again in opposition to the amendment, stating that it would be “ridiculous” to put another liquor store in Frank, an area of 263 residents and which he said is congested and already experiences significant traffic issues.

Tartal said that business competition is healthy, but would be inappropriate in this case as the community already has five liquor stores and at least five licensed drinking establishments which provide off-sales.
“Since liquor is a controlled substance, how many liquor stores do we need in this community,” Tartal asked.
“The decision to add a liquor store would benefit no one in this community.”
Dyck informed Council and the public that the proposed amendment applied strictly to the Land Use Bylaw and was not in fact supporting a development permit.
Dyck noted that if the amendment was approved, the applicant would then have to submit a separate application for a development permit, which could be approved or rejected at the discretion of the SDA or Council.
Councillor Brian Gallant echoed Dyck’s statements, adding that approval of the amendment would not result in an increase in the municipal tax base, nor would it endorse the development of a second liquor store in Frank.
“This change would do only one thing and that is to allow us to be more flexible in how we apply our zoning,” said Councillor Gallant.
Councillor Andrew Saje spoke against the amendment, recommending that Council consider not voting in favour of second and third reading.
“The overarching implication is not in the best interest of the community,” said Councillor Saje.
After some discussion, Councillors Larry Mitchell and Brian Gallant moved second and third reading, respectively, which were carried 5-2, with Councillors Andrew Saje and Emile Saindon opposed.
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