Riverview residents made a plea to council to prevent a proposed new brewery and tavern from opening in their neighbourhood at a public hearing Monday night, with some saying: "Why us?"
North Battleford city council will have a second reading in two weeks on amending a zoning bylaw to allow for a potential new tavern at 702 -102nd Street at South Railway Avenue — the site of the former armory building — and will debate the matter then.
The property was also once occupied by Battlefords Trade & Education Centre Inc., which moved to another location in October.
Council also received letters and a signed petition from Riverview residents objecting to a proposed eight-unit apartment building at 691-103rd Street being established in their neighbourhood, coincidentally across the street from the proposed tavern site.
Council will defer making a decision on approving a discretionary-use application for the proposed multi-family dwelling until after administration contacts objectors who submitted correspondence to get more details about the residents`concerns.
During the public hearing on the brewery/tavern issue, four residents spoke up about their concerns.
Resident Karen Richardson wanted to know why Riverview was selected for the tavern and not another residential area such as Killdeer. She àlso wondered why the downtown area wasn`t selected as a better location for the business.
"Why would the city allow a bar in a residential area," asked Richardson.
Richardson also asked council how they would vote if this decision to approve the rezoning placed their home between a bar and a bingo.
Residents were concerned about a number of factors: how a tavern might change the makeup of the community, the potential for an increase in crime, heavier traffic on the streets, more congested parking, an increase in litter, and the potential that property values would decrease.
One resident with three children also worried whether a tavern "would bring undesirables into the area."
City planning director Jennifer Niesink explained the facility will be a tavern-restaurant which may help alleviate some of residents' fears.
Council plans to discuss the issue in two weeks when the rezoning amendment for the property has second reading.
"It is entirely up to council because that is when council debates it," said mayor Ryan Bater following the meeting.
He added on the second issue for an apartment building proposal, administration wants to hear from those who are directly impacted by the decision.
"I am interested to see the results of the dialogue between administration and those residents," he said. "There are a lot of specifics regarding the development. I think that needs to be ironed out. I think council wants to hear from those too, which was clear because we had a unanimous motion to table that particular motion," Bater said.
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