British Columbia

Stanley Park advocates hoping to stop new brew pub from getting liquor licence

Opponents to Stanley Park Brewing, now under construction, and owned by the world's largest brewery, are hoping to stop the site from receiving a primary liquor licence, despite city staff recommending councillors approve it on Wednesday.

Noise and impact to great blue herons main concerns about Stanley Park Brewing Co., owned by AB InBev

A computer rendering of what the Stanley Park brew pub will look like. (Vancouver Park Board/Twitter)

Opponents to the Stanley Park brew pub, now under construction and owned by the world's largest brewer, are hoping to stop the company from receiving a primary liquor licence despite city staff recommending that councillors approve it on Wednesday.

In 2016 the city approved Stanley Park Brewing Co., which is owned by AB InBev, as the new tenant of the former Fish House near the tennis courts at 8901 Stanley Park Drive. The building has been sitting empty since 2015.

After the approval of the project local residents voiced their anger saying they weren't properly notified about it and are worried about noise not only for people living nearby but also for a colony of great blue herons, which have nests in nearby trees.

"Any new disturbance is likely cause for them to abandon [the area], and this is one of the few remaining colonies of this species — they are at risk on the brink of becoming endangered," said Maria Morlin, a local resident and biologist who has studied the birds for past 17 years.

Maria Morlin is a biologist who lives near the former Fish House in Stanley Park. She has studied great blue herons in the area for 17 years and says the birds are at risk from noise that the brew pub will generate. (Don Marce/CBC)

Local residents, along with members of a group called Stanley Park Advocates, plan to attend a council meeting Wednesday morning to convince councillors to reconsider approving a primary liquor licence for 50 people with an adjoining 53-person patio.

"It is now up to the citizens who love Stanley Park to convince city hall, the Vancouver Liquor Control Board, and the province of B.C. to protect Stanley Park from environmental repercussions, commercialization and corporate exploitation," said a release from the group.

From 1990 to the fall of 2015 the Fish House was licensed as a restaurant for 185 people and a 76-person outdoor patio. The majority of the new brew pub will also function as a licensed restaurant.

Operating limits

Since it began consultations on the project, the city has asked for changes from the Stanley Park Brewing Co. about how the brew pub would operate and to limit, at the outset, how long it can stay open until each day.

For the first six months it can only operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Afterward a review will consider allowing it to stay open until 12 a.m.

The outdoor patio must cease all liquor service and be vacated by 10 p.m. nightly for the first six months before an extension to 11 p.m. is considered.

An acoustic report will also be required to certify that the establishment meets noise bylaw requirements and the company must sign a "good neighbour" agreement.

The agreement sets out expectations that the brew pub will be responsible for creating a positive relationship with local residents.

The company also says it will help to protect any wildlife living in the area.

Biologists like Maria Morlin say there are 120 great blue heron nests in trees off Park Lane in Stanley Park. She says a prolonged disturbance, such as noise from the Stanley Park brew pub, could result in the birds leaving the colony. (Don Marce/CBC)

The city says it received letters of support for the brew pub from the West End Business Improvement Association, and the local lawn bowling club and tennis clubs.

With files from Angela Sterritt.