Agenda Index City of Vancouver


Date: December 3, 1997

Author/Local: Guy Gusdal/6461

CC File No. 2600


Standing Committee on Planning and Environment


Chief License Inspector and Director of Land Use & Development


Time-Limited Development Permits


A.THAT Council endorse a process for issuing time-limited Development Permit approvals for new or physical expansion of existing Class ‘ALounge/Pub, Class ‘C’ Cabaret, Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub or Restaurant-Class 2 licensed establishments, such process to be generally as outlined in Appendix A.

B.THAT the Director of Land Use & Development be instructed to amend Zoning & Development Fee By-law 5585, Appendix E, Schedule 1, Section 13 to provide a Development Permit extension fee for time-limited Development Permits for Class ‘A’ Lounge/Pub, Class ‘C’ Cabaret, Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub and Restaurant-Class 2 uses.

FURTHER that this Development Permit extension fee equal $310.

C.THAT, with respect to existing Class ‘A’ Lounge/Pub, Class ‘C’ Cabaret or Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub licensed establishments seeking extended hours or seating, Council endorse a process of requiring the holder of the existing Development Permit to relinquish that permit, and to apply for a time-limited permit.


The General Manager of Community Services RECOMMENDS approval of the foregoing.


Council Policy requires that Council not endorse any applications in the Theatre Row Entertainment District for new Class ‘A’, ‘C’ or ‘D’ licensed establishments, or for extensions of hours of operation and/or expansion of seating capacity for existing licensed establishments, until the Directors of Central Area Planning and Legal Services, in consultation with the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, Chief License Inspector and Chief Constable, report back on the legal implications, costs and fees for issuing such establishments temporary Development Permits, subject to performance standards to minimize neighbourhood impacts;

Further that the report on temporary Development Permits come forward at the same time as the report from staff on new liquor license proposals for Theatre Row.


In June, Council instructed staff to develop effective enforcement alternatives for liquor licensed premises and to coordinate the City’s action with its counterparts in the provincial Liquor Control & Licensing Branch (LCLB).

Staff recommend using a time-limited Development Permit process for new applications that require a Development Permit. For existing establishments seeking extended seating or hours, the holder of the existing Development Permit will be required to relinquish that permit and to apply for a time-limited permit. Staff recognize that while these measures may provide more effective enforcement measures than are presently available to the City, they are not the ideal solution to the problems associated with poorly operated liquor licensed establishments. The proposed solution is meant only as an interim measure, and that more effective solutions are available through increased enforcement by the Province.


To provide Council with the option of endorsing a process for the issuance of time-limited Development Permits as an effective and significant means of enforcement with respect to Class ‘A’ Lounge/Pub, Class ‘C’ Cabaret, Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub and Restaurant-Class 2 liquor licensed establishments.


In July of 1996, a report to Council addressed the issues of enforcement problems related to liquor licensed premises. It was concluded that Provincial procedures take too long to complete and often result in minimum penalties for problem premises. Council instructed staff to report back with ways to ensure better coordination of enforcement resources and to enter into discussions with the Province on the ability to endorse applications, subject to a probationary period.

Staff has been meeting with the Province and some of the enforcement issues have been addressed. We now have better coordination between the LCLB and the City. The LCLB has also realigned its inspector’s districts to coincide with Police Department districts, and is currently hiring additional inspectors.

In June of 1997, Council endorsed the Theatre Row Liquor Licensing Policy which allowed for up to 1,000 additional liquor licensed seats on the 700, 800 and 900 blocks of Granville Street. Since there are no means with which to endorse new applications subject to a probationary period, staff proposed a strategy for the issuance of time-limited Development Permits to allow the City to maintain a method of dealing with problem licensed establishments. This strategy was adopted in principle by Council, subject to a report back on the implications and costs of this process.


Time-Limited Development Permits

Staff evaluated the procedure of using time-limited Development Permits as a means to mitigate the impacts and provide more effective enforcement for new or expansion to existing licensed premises in a neighbourhood. Until the Provincial authority changes its regulations and increases enforcement, the City needs to adopt this method as an interim enforcement measure.

The time-limited Development Permit process should improve the effectiveness of enforcement procedures. A four-month time limitation on the Development Permit (that is three times per year) was chosen because this is the minimum amount of time necessary to allow for the processing of the renewal, provides a reasonable time period for effective enforcement of the premises, and is not too onerous a burden on the business owner. The time-limited Development Permit would be renewed automatically by the Director ofPlanning, unless instructed otherwise by Council.

Conditions which would warrant a time-limited Development Permit not to be renewed would include:

1.Excessive noise complaints by neighbouring property owners/residents.

2.Numerous police calls, liquor licensed premises checks and/or activity at the place of business or surrounding area (should a link with the business be established).

3.Continued complaints and enforcement action by the Property Use Inspection Branch of the Permits & Licenses Department.

4.Conduct and/or business practices that are contrary to the public good of the neighbourhood.

This information would be collected and coordinated by the License Coordinator, Permits & Licenses Department, and a motion would be brought before Council by the Chief License Inspector for consideration to not renew the time-limited Development Permit of the subject premise.

The issues raised with respect to the existing licensed establishments are more problematic. However, for those who hold a Development Permit, a process similar to that proposed for new establishments could be adopted. This approach would involve the holder of the existing Development Permit relinquishing that permit, and applying for a time-limited permit. Such a requirement would be justified in consideration of the City’s endorsement of a request for extended hours or seating.

The hours of operation for liquor licensed establishments are controlled through the provincial jurisdiction of the LCLB. It is only the inability of the LCLB to reduce/cutback hours of operation (closing times) for problem premises or introduce probationary periods for new establishments that require staff to derive alternative and, subsequently, less than perfect solutions to provide effective enforcement over liquor licensed premises.

Class ‘E’ Stadium/Convention Centre/Concert Hall, Class ‘F’ Marine Pub and Restaurant-Class 1 liquor licenses have not been included in the time-limited Development Permit proposal because these uses are less problematic than those targeted by this report.

Development Permit Fees

The existing fee for the renewal of a time limited Development Permit is 75 per cent of the required original application fee which can be up to a maximum of $2,700.

Given that staff is recommending the time-limited Development Permit required for new liquor licensed premises (Class ‘A’, Class ‘C’, Class ‘D’, Restaurant-Class 2 only) to be renewed every four months (that is three times a year), this would constitute a significant cost for each individual renewal. Staff feel that fees of this magnitude would be unreasonable and unfair to the applicant for the following reasons:

1.The processing of the renewal would be near automatic unless Council were to advise the Director of Planning that Council did not favour renewal, in which case the application would be reviewed in more depth. The processing time would be kept to a minimum, the Permits & Licenses Department would send the reminder letter to the applicant and the Planning Department would do a file check and issue the renewal; and

2.Development Permits with a specified time-limit that are subject to the same section of the fee by-law are usually limited in time to one year or more (normally two years). Billiard Halls are a good example, as they are often as contentious as licensed establishments and new applications are usually issued with two year approvals unless extended in writing by the Director of Planning. Therefore, if no amendment is made to the fee by-law, licensed establishments would at a minimum pay three times the amount of money for their Development Permit renewals.

As a result of the above analysis, staff feels that a fee of $310 is appropriate for such a renewal, given the review and processing work involved. This proposed fee is consistent with the fee currently charged for extending or renewing the validity of a Development Permit without a specified time limit (these permits are valid for one year). The proposed annual renewal costs for a Development Permit issued for a Class ‘A’, Class ‘C’, Class ‘D’ and Restaurant Class-2 licensed establishments would be $930. The effective annual fee is higher than the fees charged for most Development Permit renewals but is still significantly less than what would presently be charged for a renewal of this nature.


Staff recognizes that the time-limited Development Permit process is somewhat cumbersome and will create additional steps for staff and the applicants. We anticipate that this is a temporary measure to deal with enforcement issues and meetings with the Province will continue in order to find a long term solution to this issue.

Staff recommends that Recommendations A, B and C be endorsed and further that the Planning and Permits & Licenses Departments monitor the effectiveness of the time limited Development Permit and report back to Council in two years.

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A.Process for new or physical expansion of existing Class ‘A’ Lounge/Pub Ancillary to a Hotel, Class ‘C’ Cabaret or Class ‘D’ Neighbourhood Pub licensed establishments.

1.The applicant files a pre-site application with the Chief License Inspector.

2.The applicant receives the endorsement of Council subject to the applicant acknowledging their understanding of the four-month time-limited Development Permit process.

3.The applicant submits a Development Permit application. The Development Permit approval will be granted subject to satisfactory compliance with the relevant requirements of the Zoning & Development, Parking and/or Official Development Plan Bylaws. A Development Permit approval would be granted for the new development, (i.e., change of use, new construction or construction of an addition to the existing facility) and would be limited in time to a four-month period subject to four month renewals by the Director of Planning unless instructed otherwise by Council.

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