File photo The City of White Rock is delving into the areas of ‘adult entertainment’ and cannabis dispensaries with proposed bylaw amendments.

City leaders keep close eye on adult-entertainment venues, cannabis dispensaries

Proposed bylaws spell out limitations for potential businesses in White Rock

It’s not exactly going to be sex, drugs and rock n’ roll in the City of White Rock any time soon – not according to new bylaw amendments drafted for consideration at Monday night’s council meeting.

But corporate reports in council’s agenda from planning and development services director Carl Johannsen suggest the city is attempting to come to terms with the potential for granting applications for such businesses in commercial-residential zones in the future.

While amendments to the city’s existing zoning and business bylaws spell out new definitions for ‘adult entertainment’ venues – as permitted town centre uses – they include specific limitations that may preclude applications coming forward, or confine them to commercial plazas in the uptown area.

White Rock is also effectively banning cannabis dispensaries from any land use zone in the city as an “interim regulatory measure” in anticipation of nationwide legalization in July 2018.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be banned forever, according to a report from Johannsen, who says the bylaw is “intended to provide Council and the community with an opportunity to consider appropriate regulations for cannabis-related land use activities, and to prevent businesses from setting up in contravention of existing bylaws.”

“Further review and amendments will be forthcoming,” he adds.

Johanssen says in another report that staff, responding to a council resolution, have reviewed the regulation of adult entertainment uses within the context of White Rock’s commercial land base and OCP goals and policies.

Limitations of allowing such uses in the new bylaw amendments include ensuring that the venues do not have liquor licenses; that they are not within 500 metres of a school, that the minimum lot width for a building offering adult entertainment is at least 45 metres, and that the establishment must be set back at least 30 metres from any public road (and 50 metres from Johnston Road) Johannsen says.

“This approach limits the possible locations of adult entertainment uses to the automobile-oriented shopping plazas on North Bluff Road,” he notes.

Not having a liquor licence associated with such an operation, he says, would minimize nuisance to residents, while the business bylaw amendment specifies that entertainment should not be visible from the outside and must be limited to a stage or other city-approved floor plan.

Existing entertainment venues may also be affected – Johannsen also states that, while the current business bylaw doesn’t require a license for entertainment held in a licensed theatre or licensed premises, the new business bylaw amendment would require anything the city deems adult entertainment to be licensed.

The city definition of adult entertainment, as set out in the new zoning bylaw amendment, is anything “not suitable for viewing by minors, including, but not limited to, exotic dancing whereby entertainers remove clothing during a performance and/or perform in a sexually suggestive manner, or entertainment involving full or partial nudity.”

The business bylaw amendment specifies that minors (those under the age of 19) would not be permitted in a venue offering adult entertainment, and that the operating hours would be between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

It also specifies that “entertainers providing adult entertainment, including but not limited to exotic dancers, cannot engage in physical contact with any other person in any manner whatsoever, cannot engage in real or simulated sex acts, cannot share or serve food or beverages, or pass objects to members of the audience, and cannot deliberately engage a patron in an adult-oriented performance.”

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