While Victoria was introducing changes to provincial liquor regulations last week, the municipality introduced its own processing fees for reviewing liquor licence applications this week.
It will soon cost applicants a $150 processing fee for a temporary change to their liquor licence, $720 for a permanent change and $1,300 for a new liquor licence application.
Previously there was no charge for liquor licence applications.
It is still the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch that has authority to issue liquor licences, but its municipal staff that have to do most of the leg work before applications can be reviewed by Whistlers Liquor Licence Advisory Committee. The committees recommendation is forwarded to Whistler council, which then makes its recommendation to the LCLB.
The new processing fees are based on the average time it takes to review and prepare reports on each type of application and a charge of $45 per hour for municipal staff time. The fees are consistent with those imposed by the municipality on developers when development, rezoning and building permits are reviewed by municipal staff.
In the City of Vancouver, fees for liquor licence applications range from $700 to $4,000.
The introduction of fees is also consistent with the Whistler 2002 Charting a Course for the Future document which advocates achieving financial sustainability, including cost-effective delivery of municipal services.