Council adopted a zoning amendment on Monday, July 15, that will make it easier for not-for-profits and the bingo hall to hold charity events.
The amendment adds a few key uses to all P-2 Community Recreation zones in the city.
The owners of the bingo hall, Baker Development Ltd, sent a letter to council in June asking for changes to the zoning bylaw, noting that the current bylaw is restrictive, allowing only community recreation use, a library, archive or art gallery, community theatre, tourist facility, or a cemetery and crematorium. In the letter Terry Segarty, president of the development company, suggests adding three more uses.
The building was formerly used as a commercial bingo facility with a capacity of 500 people, but Segarty said attendance had declined with the proliferation of gaming sponsored by the B.C.L.C. In the past year, not-for-profit charities have been using the property for bingo charity fundraisers four nights a week. The events are run by volunteers and money raised stays in the community, the letter said.
Segarty said the amendments would allow the events to continue.
The amendment adds group day care, community meeting facility, and public and social services to permitted uses.
At the June 24 regular meeting, council gave first and second reading to the zoning amendment bylaw and referred it to the Advisory Planning Commission for recommendation, as well as the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for approval. The Advisory Planning Commission recommended adoption and the ministry approved it.
Monday’s meeting also began with a public hearing on the matter to which no one spoke. Council passed the zoning amendment bylaw. The amendment applies to all P-2 zoned properties in the city.