Council approves Blossom Festival Beer Garden

A request from Casey’s Community House to close 12th Avenue North between Canyon and the lane behind the property for a beer garden, food service and live music on Blossom Festival weekend was approved at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

Tanya Wall, operations manager for CCH, told council that she had abandoned a similar request last year because of the short time frame to plan the event.

“Learning from our attempt last year we have reached out to organizers of the Blossom Festival Committee and the Car Club and shared our interests and intent of enhancing the events of the Blossom Festival Weekend,” Wall said in a letter to Council. “We have also expanded our idea, including the local Columbia Brewery Team and they are more than willing to help highlight the Brewery involvement in the community and be a partner in the our event planning.”

Only a portion of 12th Avenue will be used, she said, with portable fencing being set back to allow for pedestrians to pass by and access other businesses.

Council received an email objection from Myrna Johnson about the CCH proposal, who said that it would negatively affect the Creston Lions Club Blossom Festival sales near the location. Wall responded that she has had discussions with Lions Club executive members and is working to help them find a suitable location.

“It should be pointed out that Myrna Johnson is speaking for herself, and not the Lions Club,” Couns. Jim Elford said. The Lions Club later informed Council that Johnson is no longer a member and does not speak on the club’s behalf.

The Creston Valley Public Art Connection Society will be serving food in the beer garden, with the help of Royal Bank volunteers, and local bands will be invited to perform. Wall said the beer garden and music would start after the parade on Saturday and continue to 11 pm. On Sunday, music will not start until the car show on Canyon Street ends at 4 pm. Music will stop at 10 pm.

While there was some discussion about getting approval from nearby businesses and residents, CAO Mike Moore pointed out that the proposal was in compliance with existing noise bylaws, adding that outdoor concerts at the Ramada Hotel routinely get complaints, but that the music does not contravene bylaws.

“Is there anything going on at the Ramada at that time?” Couns. Ellen Tzakis asked.

“I wouldn’t know,” Wall responded.

With Town approval required before CCH can make an application to the BC Liquor and Cannabis Branch, a motion passed to approve the event and have CCH work with Town staff to notify nearby residents and businesses about the plans.

In other Town Council news:

• Council approved the proclamation of Focus on Youth Week from May 6-10.

• Creston became one of more than 350 Canadian communities to sign on to the Partners for Climate Protection, endorsing efforts to limit global temperature increases. Tangible changes will include a regional approach to energy efficient building, with a new BC Building Code coming in2020 that will place greater emphasis on energy efficient construction, and financial support for energy upgrades and retrofits to existing homes and commercial buildings.

• Clean Air Bylaw No. 1878 will regulate smoking and vaping by prohibiting the practices in specified outdoor places.

• A Zoning Amendment Bylaw will pave the way for a Northwest Boulevard motel to rent units by the month.

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