Saturday August 23, 2014

Council gives public a say on Cactus Jacks expansion

Staff worried about infraction last spring, but councillors vote to distribute notice of intent

A plan to add 130 more cabaret goers at Cactus Jacks Saloon will go out for public comment.

City council voted unanimously Tuesday to distribute a notice of intent about the night club's application to go from 495 to 625 spaces, despite staff's recommendation to deny the request.

Mayor Peter Milobar excused himself from the discussion as he owns a liquor store and councillors Nancy Bepple and Marg Spina were absent.

City development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said Cactus Jacks bought the 245-seat liquor licence for the now-closed Rivers night club.

Cactus Jacks owners have said they would cancel the Rivers licence if they got the additional 130 seats, leading to an overall reduction of 115 liquor spaces downtown.

But concerning City staff was the fact the saloon had an overcapacity infraction last spring, he said. The bar was told to have a clean slate for one year before it would get an increase.

The larger number of patrons could be more of a demand on RCMP resources at closing time, as well as creating more noise concerns, he said.

If Cactus Jacks was denied, the owners could take their licence for Rivers and open up another night club elsewhere.

Coun. Tina Lange moved the motion to go to notice of intent for the liquor licence increase.

"This is an issue where we need the community's input," she said. The rest of council voted with her.

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