Zoning amendment could create a Golden ‘Gastown district’

The Town of Golden council has passed the first reading for a zoning amendment bylaw that would introduce a new craft distillery as a craft manufacturer and liquor store.

Mount 7 Spirits is being constructed at the old Home Hardware building at 616 8th Avenue N. The purpose of the zoning amendment is to replace the definition of a craft brewery as a “craft manufacturer,” so that similar businesses like distilleries, wineries, cideries, or mead houses would be able to apply for similar zoning. As a craft manufacturer, Mount 7 Spirits can facilitate brewing and distilling, bottling and marketing alcoholic beverages, and can include a tour reception area, a retail store, and a liquor primary establishment. The current bylaw, as a C2 zone and Highway Commercial C4 zone, does not define liquor store, so it is being included.

“Because the use will be changed right there, they have to go through [this] process,” explained Town of Golden CAO Jon Wilsgard. “Council did pass first reading for the bylaw for it, so it will go to public hearing.”

The dates for the public hearing have not yet been set.

The Whitetooth Brewery opened up across the street from where Mount 7 Spirits is being constructed, extending downtown and creating a gathering place in that area. The Town of Golden said that the business positively added to the diversity and vibrancy downtown, and generated a “made in Golden” product, which has been beneficial from an economic perspective, and helps to promote Golden outside of the community.

The staff report from town planner Phil Armstrong, presented at the January 8 council meeting, says the proposal revitalizes a vacant building and complies with the Official Community Plan, and the purpose of the C2 zone, which provides mid-scale mixed-use development for a wide range of commercial and residential uses.

“It’s not inconsistent with the way development is going there. You’ve got the Whitetooth Brewery, and across the street could be a distillery. We’re creating our own Gastown district,” Wilsgard said.

The development is supported by Official Community Plan statements, including “diversifying the economy, revitalizing commercial areas, supporting a range of social opportunities, improving the community’s overall visual appearance, strengthening tourism, increasing private investment, and attracting new industry,” the report says.

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