CATHY ELLIS BANFF
A move to give Banff nightclubs a higher level of scrutiny in light of concerns about the impacts late night partiers have on neighbouring residential areas and downtown hotels has been turned down.
On a close 4-3 vote, council decided against administration’s recommendation to make new nightclubs a discretionary use in the downtown, meaning they would require approval of the Municipal Planning Commission.
“I feel nightclubs have a significant impact on the community around them,” said Councillor Leslie Taylor, who made the motion to make nightclubs discretionary Monday (June 11).
“It doesn’t mean they are a bad thing, it just means I believe we need to exercise discretion where they are.”
Mayor Karen Sorensen voiced support for keeping them a permitted use.
“I appreciate nightclubs are a different animal in terms of the activity, but I think the place for nightclubs is in the downtown,” she said.
“My fear is it becomes not really allowed without permission – and I think they should be allowed in the downtown.”
But Taylor was quick to point out there is talk in the Land Use Bylaw about encouraging residential development in the downtown and other late night issues.
“We also know we have late night issues in the downtown that impact hotels and residents,” she said.
“I am not suggesting taking nightclubs off the list, I’m just saying we make them discretionary.”
Under amendments to Banff’s Land Use Bylaw, administration had proposed nightclubs be defined as unique uses and make any new ones discretionary.