Through a convoluted history, a humble food stand on Vancouver Park Board land at Kits Beach ended up controlled by billion-dollar private Texas company. Guess what’s next?
City Council is poised to approve a brew pub in Stanley Park by the world’s largest multi-national beer company, on the site of the former Fish House Restaurant next to a colony of at-risk Great Blue Herons. All this without much public discussion. Is this what Vancouver citizens want?
During a daytime meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Vancouver City Council is set to make the final decision. Concerned citizens should have a chance to speak to Council on this topic, but you are also encouraged to write in (more info below).
The topic appears somewhat innoccuously on the City Council agenda as “8901 Stanley Park Drive – Stanley Park Brewpub – Liquor Primary Licence and Outdoor Patio Application.”
A group calling themselves Stanley Park Advocates has sent out a press release, prepared a 17-page report entitled “Addressing a Failed Process: Why Industrial Brewing in Stanley Park?” (available online or for download), and produced this YouTube video. They are saying that many steps in the process up to this point have been unacceptable.
Please see further below for a chronology and other highlights we have extracted from the materials, plus other relevant links, and actions they are recommending.
Besides all of these issues, CityHallWatch asks what revenues the public coffers get in return for allowing commercial activities in public parks (e.g., see the three locations in map above). We have asked officials before, and the answer is basically “We can’t tell you but trust us, it’s OK.”
Table of Contents of “Addressing a Failed Process: Why Industrial Brewing in Stanley Park?” (available online or for download).
An Unprecedented & Significant Change of Use 3
Inappropriate Zoning 3
Environmental Concerns 4
Ignoring the Research 5
Lack of Public Engagement 5
Impact on Neighbourhood 7
Protecting Stanley Park’s Heron Colony 9
Commercialization of Stanley Park 10
Misrepresentation to Consumers 11
Anheuser-Busch: Potential Abuse of Market Power 11
Timeline of Events 13
Proposed Solutions 14
Stanley Park – First Nations Tribute 15
STANLEY PARK ADVOCATES…
… is a broad group of volunteer citizens concerned about the pending approval to allow Anheuser-Busch/Stanley Park Brewing into one of the world’s top urban parks. The group says that the Park Board abdicated its stewardship role by sole-sourcing Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest beer conglomerate, in order to maximize profit and capital investment. They say that this is a significant change of use without full disclosure, public engagement, environmental or neighbourhood impact studies. Their report went last year to City Council, Park Board, Liquor Control Board and the City’s Development Planning department last year but as of January 12, they did not receive a response to questions posed. They oppose this proposal for a commercial and manufacturing-zoned brewery in Stanley Park based on the Top 10 Concerns outlined in the video.
Stanley Park Advocates says that Park Board and City staff have not considered OR referenced these:
Park Board Strategic Framework
Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Plan
Vancouver Greenest City Action Plan
Stanley Park Heronry Management Plan
Stanley Park Forest Management Plan
Urban Forestry Strategy
Rewilding Vancouver: Environment Ed & Stewardship Action Plan
Vancouver Bird Strategy
West End Community Plan
A Healthy City for All
The Water Conservation Action Plan (2017 – 2020)
|April 2015||Stanley Park Brewing (SPB) makes $20,000 windstorm donation|
|May 2015||Park Board announces Fish House Closing|
|SPB indicates their plans to be in Stanley Park with Park Board support|
|Jun 2015||Restaurant RFP launched with August closing|
|Oct 2015||Fish House tenant vacates|
|Nov 2015||Anheuser-Busch acquires SPB|
|Dec 2015||Potential tenant withdraws|
|Park Board begins Sole Sourcing process of SPB|
|Nov 2016||Park Board announces SPB as new Fish House tenant|
|Park Board approves proposal. Neighbours unaware of meeting. Only one speaker present (SPES) and speaks in favour of proposal|
|Jun 2017||Development Permit Notification Process (residents didn’t receive)|
|Sep 2017||Liquor Primary Permit Notification Process (residents didn’t receive)|
|Small group meeting #1 with Park Board & SPB: Proposal Review|
|Oct 2017||Small group meeting #2 with Park Board & SPB: Concerns|
|Nov 2017||Small group meeting #3 with SPB: Proposed Solutions|
|SPB Open House at restaurant (residents didn’t receive notice)|
|17-Jan-2018||Vancouver City Council Review of Proposal|
|Feb 2018||If approved, Victoria Liquor Board final review|
CITIZEN ACTIONS PROPOSED BY STANLEY PARK ADVOCATES:
Please take action to protect Stanley Park by:
1. View, like, share the video outlining the Top 10 Concerns: https://
2. Express your views to the Vancouver Mayor and City Council through the online
form. And come to the January 17 meeting (see above.)
3. Email the Vancouver Park Board Commissioners: PBcommissioners@vancouver.ca
(group that approved the Anheuser-Busch brewery for a park)
ACTIONS THEY WANT BY OFFICIALS
(Park Board Commissioners, City Council and Development Planning department, Liquor Board)
Take a fresh look at this proposal taking into account the neighbourhood
and broader citizens’ perspectives, research, and proposed solutions.
1. MITIGATE disruptive noise by adjusting design plans with a Development
Permit Minor Amendment (modified architectural drawings (p. 16 &
17) show the east-facing patio moving to the southwest).
2. COMMISSION the following studies to ensure minimal impact with this
significant change of use:
A) Environmental Analysis of the brewery operations.
B) Acoustic Analysis on the heron colony and residences.
C) Traffic & Parking Analysis.
3. ADJUST operations so as not to disturb the ambience of the park and
A) Align operating hours to Park hours, e.g. Close at 10:00 pm.
B) Use light fixtures that respect the park ambience and night sky.
C) Establish protocol for entertainment and special events that do
not disrupt the character of the park and neighbourhood.
4. WITHDRAW the plan to sell off-sales of alcohol.
5. OPERATE a restaurant serving SPB beer from the Delta brewery.
6. INVESTIGATE issues regarding the Canadian Competition Act, inducements,
marketing involving SPB/Anheuser-Busch, and the possibility of
securing an Official Mark.
7. HOLD a proper public hearing to share the findings of these initiatives.
Download the staff report to City Council for January 17, 2018:
5. 8901 Stanley Park Drive – Stanley Park Brewpub – Liquor Primary Licence and Outdoor Patio Application
Anger brewing over Stanley Park’s new tenant: Construction begins this fall to transform the former Fish House restaurant into Stanley Park Brewing
CBC News: Sep 14, 2017
Excerpts: A group of Vancouver residents has banded together to voice their anger over a plan to turn a once-loved restaurant into a Stanley Park Brewing location. Construction is slated to begin this fall to renovate the former Fish House restaurant in Stanley Park. The project was approved by the Vancouver Park Board in November 2016, however, some residents, claim they weren’t aware that the brewing company was taking over the lease of the old restaurant…. “There was not due process for this whole transition from a quiet elegant restaurant, the Fish House, to a brewpub,” said Schroder. “I think a beer pub would be great, but not here.” Vancouver Park Board Comissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung said public consultation did take place in 2015 when the lease for the former Fish House expired…. Stanley Park Brewing is owned by Labatt, a division of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Stanley Park Brewing set to become new tenant for former Fish House restaurant
Vancouver Park Board approved motion Monday night to begin lease negotiations
By Maryse Zeidler, CBC News Posted: Nov 28, 2016
These 5 beer makers own more than half of the world’s beer, in Business Insider. Dylan Roach, Feb. 9, 2016.
Excerpt: In 2004, 10 brewers controlled 51% of the global beer market by volume. Ten years later, five beer makers — Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Heineken, Carlsberg, and China Resources Enterprise — controlled about the same amount. Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes Budweiser, merged with SABMiller at the end of last year , giving the new company about 30% of the global market share.