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Plans underway for Canada Day festivities at Dusty's

Council Briefs: Liquor policy updated to align with provincial changes

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Creekside will be party-central this Canada Day after council approved a proposal for a large scale event at Dusty's Bar and BBQ.

On Tuesday, officials granted Whistler Blackcomb, the operator of Dusty's, a Temporary Use Area (TUA) licence for World Cup Plaza. The event, which is expected to host up to 1,000 people and will include liquor service and DJs, is scheduled for July 1 from 1 to 8 p.m.

After concerns were raised about noise levels and large crowds overwhelming the transit system during last year's event, Whistler Blackcomb outlined some of the measures that will be in place in 2017. For example, Dusty's management will have "final say" on the music volume and may require it to be turned down. Minors will not be permitted in the licensed area.

All entertainment this year will wrap up by 8 p.m., rather than 9 p.m. as it did last year. It is hoped this will result in a more "gradual dispersal" of attendees. Dusty's will also keep its interior and patio open to encourage attendees to stay after the event, unlike last year.

Whistler Blackcomb has agreed to help pay for extra bus service between Creekside and the village following the event, doubling transit capacity on that route. Security will be provided in greater numbers this year as well.

"What is good is that there has been some learning from last year and some proactive steps taken to address the concerns," said Coun. Sue Maxwell.

Council greenlights patio

Also at Tuesday's meeting of council, Whistler officials signed off on the construction of an outdoor patio at Brickworks Public House in the village.

The 37-seat patio will be located in an area in front of the Main Street pub that is currently used as a planter and pedestrian sidewalk. The design includes a covered walkway that will be open to pedestrians during the winter months to protect from inclement weather.

Based on the strata's rules, the pub has agreed to close the patio by 10 p.m. Coun. John Grills hopes the early curfew doesn't become the norm.

"It's a bit of a concern if that became a trend in the village, that stratas start imposing 10 p.m. closings on patios. I mean, it's still light out at that time in the summer," he said.

The development permit is contingent upon several criteria, such as landscaping and a winter site plan.

Updates to Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy

Whistler's Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy will be updated to align with the sweeping changes to B.C.'s liquor regulations after council gave the thumbs up to the proposed amendment on Tuesday, May 9.

In early 2014, Victoria released 73 recommendations for policy changes as part of a major overhaul to the province's liquor regulating framework.

"With those changes mostly in place, it's time to update our municipal policies to co-ordinate with them," explained RMOW planner Frank Savage.

While the provincial government issues licences, municipalities are given the opportunity to comment and regulate various licence types, and the update to Whistler's policy will give municipal planners more regulatory tools to work with.

Some of the major provincial policy changes that now require amendments from the RMOW include: the provision to consider dual licensing for restaurants wanting to transition into a liquor-primary licence at a certain time of night; ski areas and golf courses applying for Temporary Use Area licences for special events; and allowing minors accompanied by adults in pubs and lounges until 10 p.m. — the current local policy only permits minors until 8 p.m.

For the amendments to the municipal liquor policy, you can access Tuesday's council package at www.whistler.ca.

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