Booze bruised

By Geoff Lee

August 25, 2016 12:00 AM

City sets location limits for liquor stores

New booze outlets in the city can’t set up shop within 300m of school, parks or existing community and recreation activities.
Lloydminster City Council amended section 2.5.1 of its land use bylaw to increase that distance for new liquor retailers from 100m after a motion by Coun. Jason Whiting.
Whiting said he sees it as way to reduce alcohol access to youth, but its passage was not without debate.
He said the amendment is a way to possibly slow down the number of liquor stores that are opening up in this community noting there is a lot them.
“It’s been commented to me by residents, by visitors by many people, so I think this is just one way to kind of pull back the reins,” he explained.
Whiting was partly swayed by a presentation to council by Lorelee Marin, from YLL My Home,  who noted there are 23 liquor stores and off sales stores in Lloydminster.
Coun. Linnea Goodhand,  however, argued expanding the distance to 300m might limit legitimate businesses from opening in Lloydminster.
“The presentation by YLL My Home has come good points,“said Goodhand.
“I think we might have been a bit broad in expanding the prohibition as wide as 300m, but that’s what council approved today.”
The new proximity limits don’t apply to existing liquor retailers, but if an existing outlet closed and wanted to reopen, it would be subject to the new land use bylaw amendment.
Goodhand noted that with the new 300m proximity limit in place, 11 of 19 existing outlets that she counted in the city are non compliant.
For that reason she said, maybe the 300m prohibition is too large.
“There is always this dance we do between thoughtful and respectful and meeting our citizens’ needs and not wanting to get in the way of legal businesses and their capacity to make money,” said Goodhand.
Lloydminster has one liquor outlet per 1,346 residents according to the YLL My Home group that promotes overall community health and wellness and drug and alcohol awareness.
That’s twice the alcohol outlet density of the City of Red Deer.
Whiting said time will tell if the amendment reduces alcohol consumption.
“I would hope and the data says, according to some of my friends who work for YLL My Home, that the access to liquor stores does have a direct effect on alcohol consumption,” he said.
“I hope this is a way to slow the pace and reduce the future use of alcohol a little bit in Lloydminster.”
He said it’s not changing anything that’s in place; but does affect future liquor stores.

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