With the support of Parksville city council, Quality Foods will proceed with their application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) to have occasional live music and events in their ‘Upstairs’ lounge.
The decision to support Quality Foods was voted in favour during the council meeting on Nov. 16. An earlier mention of the Quality Foods having a lounge, at 371 Alberni Highway, was during the Oct. 5 council meeting. At that time, city staff were directed to advertise the opportunity for public input from the community within the vicinity of the establishment, regarding the patron participation entertainment endorsement application.
A notice sign was posted on the property by Oct. 28, and written comments from the public were accepted until 4 p.m. on Nov. 6.
Seven letters were received, with two being in favour of the application. Nearly every letter in opposition made mention of their concern to noise pollution and traffic management.
“Adding liquor, in itself, may not be a bad idea if it’s in a quiet setting conducive to conversation and promoting simple pleasures such as enjoying a meal together with friends while shopping at the new store,” wrote Jennifer Duggan, a resident close to the construction site.
Joan Starck, another resident of the area, had concerns about the integrity of the neighbourhood.
“A family grocery store in a residential neighbourhood is not the right place to cater to those who want to party with music, dancing and alcohol consumption… Who wants to live with daily and nightly noise over your back fence or across the street?” she said.
Coun. Al Greir said he could understand their sentiment, but thought it would “add something to that end of town.”
Coun. Mark Chandler agreed and added that he’s familiar with the Upstairs by Quality Foods at their south Nanaimo location.
“There’s very little entertainment that I’ve ever seen there… They do a lot of things like ‘wing night’ and ‘pizza nights’ and things like that.”
In a report provided by the director of community planning and building, it was stated that “there may be potential for nearby residents to occasionally hear events at the proposed food-primary establishment, the type of venue and indoor aspect of the business premises would appear to generally mitigate nuisance issues.”
Council offered six votes in favour of the application, with Coun. Teresa Patterson oppposed.