An issue that was brewing in Wolfville has finally reached its conclusion after the town’s council voted in favour of land-use bylaw amendments to allow off-site sales for accessory uses.
Wolfville’s town council passed a motion at its March 19 meeting to amend the municipal planning strategy (MPS) and land-use bylaw (LUB), which now enables off-site sales for accessory uses – including breweries – in the town’s C1 commercial zone.
The motion was passed with five councillors voting in favour, and two opposed. Among those voting ‘yes’ was Mercedes Brian, who said redeveloping the “iconic” church will spell good things for Wolfville.
“When I think of vitality in Wolfville as a whole, I’m going to support this motion,” she said.
The motion was tabled with the removal of its section pertaining to reworking bylaws for contract brewing at Church Brewing Co. Deputy Mayor Jodi Mackay confirmed council deemed this clause was redundant because it is already mandated by province.
Several councillors commented ahead of voting that the issue has been a divisive one since the business progressed with renovations and construction at the former St. Andrew’s United Church in 2018.
Mackay noted the subject has been a “hot topic” and said she was voting ‘yes’ despite disappointment that her January motion to discuss buffering between the business and its Seaview Avenue neighbours was defeated.
“I wanted to discuss it on both sides of the fence. …I think that would give us a better sense of cohesion,” she said.
Town councillors Wendy Elliott and Wendy Donovan voted against the motion, each citing concern that the business plan’s scale could pose a threat to the area’s neighbourhood.
Donovan said the Seaview-area homes are 80 per cent owner-occupied and house long-term renters, and are thus less transient than other Wolville areas. She also said their pride of place is among the highest in the town.
“This is a community where people really do care about the nature of their property. I think we should all be concerned if anything happens – and I’m not suggesting at this stage that this will – but anything that undermines that very viable neighbourhood,” she said.
Mayor Jeff Cantwell had another thought on the matter regarding what the redevelopment of the former church has accomplished for Wolfville’s pride of place at 329 Main Street.
“I don’t know if there’s a place with more pride of place now than the corner of Seaview and Main streets. The investment there – I see nothing but pride,” he said.