Steveston's Craig Franzen was taken by surprise when he came back from a holiday and found a bustling new restaurant across the street from his home.
With a capacity of 250 seats inside and an additional 80 outdoor spots, Franzen is concerned about the scale of Good Co. restaurant at the Steveston Boardwalk at Imperial Landing.
He is also worried about the late opening hours (Good Co. closes at midnight) and the lack of provision for additional parking, which is hard enough to find in the area.
“Without additional explanation, this would seem to be a very irresponsible decision that likely will have a very negative impact on the residents and property values of the area,” said Franzen.
And he is not alone. City spokesperson Clay Adams confirmed to the Richmond News that another resident had recently voiced concerns about the eatery, just a week after its opening.
“We have advised that City staff will look into alleged noise concerns, as well as the parking of delivery trucks. Should those concerns be validated, we will certainly work with the owners to address them,” said Adams.
As of today, city staff has not discovered any violation of noise regulation bylaws.
For Franzen, the bigger question lies in the fact the city never notified nearby owners “directly” or gave them details about the new business.
But it doesn’t have to, said Adams.
Good Co. has a Food Primary Liquor Licence issued by the province, which allows the bar to serve liquor with meals between 9 a.m. and midnight.
“The Province… does not consult with the public or ask for a City Council resolution for primary food establishments that offer basic or standard operating liquor service hours up to midnight,” explained Adams.
If a business wants to serve alcohol beyond the standard hours, it will have to go through a council-approved public consultation process. This is the only time where a consultation would be required, Adams added.
But while the food and liquor licence is issued by the province, restaurants still must comply with the city’s zoning regulations (which Good Co. does) and obtain a permit from the city’s Building Approvals, which approves locations for restaurants based on zoning. No consultation is required in this process.
The final hoop is a permit from Vancouver Coastal Health which ensures the restaurant meets all the health and safety requirements. Once VCH gives the thumbs up, the restaurant is “good to go.”
Since Good Co. complies with zoning, operates within standard hours, and follows health and safety regulations, all the city can ask is for it to recognize its duty as "a good neighbour," said Adams.
In the meantime, if Good Co.'s neighbours have any concerns and complaints, they can reach out to the city.