A southern Alberta town known as a dry community for more than a century has changed a bylaw regarding its liquor licenses.
On Tuesday, the Cardston City Council pa*sed the amendment 5-2, allowing Cla*s A and B liquor licenses.
Under a Cla*s A license, serviced restaurants primarily serving food may offer the sale of alcohol, but this does not include the sale of alcohol in takeout orders.
A Cla*s B liquor license applies to recreational facilities, which would primarily apply to the golf course and the Agridome.
The bylaw would still ban lounges, bars, nightclubs and liquor stores anywhere in the city.
Before a business can obtain a liquor license, it must first obtain all other approvals, including development approval and business license.
If a business directly violates the current conditions, not only will its liquor license be revoked by the AGLC, but the city may also revoke its business license.
Cardston Council says the decision to make a change to the planning bylaw was not an easy one as councilors had to take many things into consideration.
On May 29, the same day as the provincial election, the city held a voter vote, asking residents about the possible adoption of the Bylaw 1647K authorizing the limited sale of alcohol in town.
A total of 925 eligible voters cast non-committal votes to help the council understand what the community thought of the proposed change.
Overall, 494 people (53 percent) were in favor of the amendment allowing limited alcohol sales, while 431 people (47 percent) were against the proposal.
On June 27, a public hearing was held but three council members were unable to attend the meeting, halting any motion on the bylaw.
On Tuesday, dozens of residents attended the second public hearing, expressing support and disapproval of the amendment. All the councilors were present, which made it possible to proceed with the second and third readings.
The Council considered both the non-binding vote and the oral comments, but ultimately decided, by a vote of 5 to 2, to move forward with the amendment.
It is believed the change will benefit local businesses, provide more choice for city residents and create a more inclusive community.
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