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Courtenay council approves new brewery proposal

Brewery in same neighbourhood as Whistle Stop
Courtenay council

Courtenay council has endorsed a new brewery proposal in the vicinity of the Whistle Stop Neighbourhood Pub.

Ace Brewing Company plans to open an establishment at 150 Mansfield Dr., near the Courtenay Air Park. At its Monday meeting, council agreed to recommend licensing approval by the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).

The brewery will contain a lounge, and will open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, though Ace Brewing expects to close earlier Sunday to Wednesday.

Coun. Doug Hillian noted that some area residents feel the brewery will negatively impact the neighbourhood in terms of noise and traffic, though City staff don’t anticipate noise being an issue because the proposed lounge is contained within the building.

The City’s call for public feedback about the pub proposal garnered seven responses – five opposed and two in favour.

“Patio and balcony ambience will be more negatively impacted,” wrote a resident of Trumpeters Landing across from the proposed site. “Forget about having a quiet afternoon or evening with friends on the decks.”

Another respondent suggests the brewery will put a strain on the long-standing Whistle Stop. The two supportive respondents, however, said it will create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Council wrestled with the application for some time before approval. Wendy Morin harbours some reservations, recalling a car accident involving pedestrians in the area. Melanie McCollum suggests traffic calming needs to be prioritized if council supports the application.

Though a report suggests a traffic study is unnecessary, Hillian would like to hear staff opinions about access to the main road from Mansfield, and pedestrian access across the highway.

Council approved Hillian’s amended motion that reflects the concerns of the neighbourhood.

“I think it’s responsible on our part to reflect the concern we heard from residents,” he said.