Liquor store concerns raised

A private liquor store in Willoughby has received the go-ahead from Langley Township council.

A property located beside an elementary school and across the street from a church is no place for a liquor store, residents told Langley Township council at a public hearing on Nov. 19.

The Willoughby Town Centre, currently under construction by QC Holdings at 208 Street and 80 Avenue, is a mixed-use development that will include retail stores, office space and residential units.

The public hearing was for an amendment to add a licensee retail store, group children’s day care and seniors’ housing to the project.

Pete Pretorious believes it would be a “fatal flaw” for the licensee store to be put in. With Willoughby Elementary located right next door, a liquor store or pub would be inappropriate, he said.

James VanderZwaan, speaking on behalf of the trustees of the Free Reformed Church at 20757 80 Ave., asked council to adhere to current regulations and ensure that a pub or liquor store would not be allowed within 400 metres of the church.

He said the trustees are disappointed that the church, which has owned their property since 1983, was “ignored” and its zoning not mentioned in staff reports.

The licensee retail store will be for a specialty beer and wine store, not a pub, John Andrews, representative of QC Holdings, said.

People will be making purchases and taking them home, he said. The intent is to have it compliment the retail centre.

At the Nov. 26 council meeting, Councillor Kim Richter moved to make an amendment to remove the licensee retail store because of its proximity to Willoughby Elementary and the Free Reform Church. Her motion was defeated, and the additions to the development were given third and final reading.