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Council moves future liquor stores away from parks, schools

Future liquor stores in the Border City will see a change in their placement under the new land-use bylaw.

On Monday, city council discussed an amendment to the bylaw. The amendment required the placement of liquor stores to be at least 300 metres from the nearest school or public park, and was introduced by councilor Jason Whiting, following a presentation to council by the Lloydminster and Area Drug Strategy.

Whiting explained his motivations for introducing the amendment after the meeting, stating that he wants to see the pace of liquor retail development in Lloydminster slowed down.

“There is a lot, we can all agree,” said Whiting.

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“It’s been commented to me, by residents, by visitors, by many people, so I think is just one way to be kind of, pull back the reins.”

Whiting also acknowledged the existing liquor stores in Lloydminster, which will not be affected by the rule change unless the businesses were closed and wanted to re-open in the same function.

“It’s just a matter of future liquor stores, and I’m not trying to tell anyone to quit drinking,” said Whiting.

“We all like to have our drink here or there, responsibly, and this is just a way to slow the future liquor stores incoming to Lloydminster.”

While the amendment passed in the chamber, it was not without opposition. Councillor Linnea Goodhand spoke up during the meeting about her concerns, which were focused on the broadness of the distance rule.

“I just didn’t want to see that prohibition get so broad as to limit legitimate businesses wanting to open up in our city,” said Goodhand.

Debate had also arisen in the chamber on the role of the municipal government to regulate businesses in the city, which Goodhand addressed after the meeting.

“There’s always this dance we do between wanting to be thoughtful and respectful of meeting our citizen’s needs, and not wanting to get in the way of legal businesses and their capacity to make money,” said Goodhand.

The land-use bylaw has not yet been passed by council.

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