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Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet
Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet

Habitat application goes back to public

by - Story: 52750

Owners of 'The Habitat' on Leon Avenue plan to go ahead with plans to obtain a liquor license, despite a setback in the process.

A public hearing held back in November was left open while council awaited information on the validity of the wording of the re-zoning change specific to a 'minors' endorsement.'

Such an endorsement would allow minors on the premises.

While the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch had no concerns with the proposed covenant, the Land Titles Office deemed unacceptable the limit capacity, hours of liquor sale and license classification.

As a result, Habitat owner Quinn Best has amended the application and is preparing to go forward.

The new application calls for a lower capacity (225 from 300) and elimination of the 'minors' endorsement.'

Liquor sale hours remain from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

"The changes made are significant," says Land Use Management Director, Shelly Gambacort.

"In light of this information, some of the concerns associated with the original application have now been mitigated, however, the proposed rezoning still is in contravention with the council policy, particularly location within the yellow zone as defined within the downtown plan."

Gambacort says Best is also asking that the facility be considered an event centre, meaning it could only operate when a specific 'event' was booked.

The only such facilities in the city are the Kelowna Community Theatre and the Rotary Centre for the Arts, both city owned.

The Habitat currently hosts Sunday morning worship services and is booked for weddings and high school events.

Gambacort told council those events would no longer be allowed under the proposed liquor license application.

She says the owner has indicated he wouldn't try to book those types of events.

"I'm disappointed we couldn't make this work better and that we've lost the minors aspect of it. I think that would have provided an interesting avenue to the general public," says Councillor Charlie Hodge.

"I do look forward to it going to a public hearing as well."

In allowing the amended application to go back to public hearing March 9, council did ask that they receive clarification as to which events, such as a church service, wedding or high school graduation would not be allowed under the license application.

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