February 11, 2019
Public Statement – Town of Wolfville
Amendments to planning documents regarding craft beverages and off-site sales
There have been a number of questions and comments from members of the public about the Church Brewing Company’s intentions regarding selling some of the beer it produces off-site, the communications between the Town and the Company, and how off-site sales factored into the Town’s dealings with the Company and the decision to issue the Development Permit 329 Main Street dated May 30, 2018.
The assessment of applications for Development Permits and the decisions on whether to grant Development Permits are made by the Town’s Development Officer. In this case, the Development Officer made the decision that the proposed development at 329 Main Street met the requirements of the Town’s Land Use By-Law and therefore granted the Development Permit. The decision to grant the Development Permit and the validity of it were upheld by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in the Court Decision dated September 5, 2018, but the Court also stated that based on the current wording of the Town’s Land Use By-Law, off-site sales of beer were not permitted.
In making the decision to grant the Development Permit, the Development Officer did not have any information regarding the issue of off-site sales and off-site sales was not an issue that factored into the decision to issue the permit. The maximum volume permitted was set at 15,000 hectolitres per year because that is the maximum volume for a microbrewery according to Nova Scotia Liquor Commission policy.
The amendments to the planning documents currently before Town Council deal with whether the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-Law should be amended to allow off-site sales of product from developments that are approved for craft beverage uses and other uses as an accessory use in the C-1 zone. The Town will continue to try to answer questions and provide information that is relevant to the proposed amendments, but will not be answering any further questions about the lead up to the issuance of the Development Permit for 329 Main Street.