Trio gets lease to maintain liquor license

On top of the settlement and enhanced marina agreements council endorsed earlier this month, the city added a two-year lease this week

The city hopes to have signed all agreements with Trio Marine Group by today, closing that deal before the end of the year.

On top of the settlement and enhanced marina agreements council endorsed earlier this month, the city added a two-year lease and sub-license of occupation to the pile at the regular meeting this week.

Read more: Penticton council votes 5-2 to accept Trio agreements

Trio, which holds a food primary license for the marina restaurant, has been told that they require a lease on the premises in order to maintain their liquor license.

“The property line between the land that is owned by the city and the land that is owned by the province actually runs through the building,” said interim CAO Mitch Moroziuk.

The reason for the short-term license, Moroziuk said, is to allow Trio to maintain their liquor license until the conditions in the longer 29-year lease kick in.

“Once all the conditions are removed, that document becomes a lease agreement,” said Moroziuk. “Second, the city, the province of B.C. and Trio are required to execute a joint lease agreement, and that is for the portions of land the province owns.

“Once those two things happen, there would be a lease in place and then you would have met the requirements of the liquor control board,” said Moroziuk.

Council voted unanimously to endorse the new lease but Nelson Meikle, whose research brought the lease discrepancy to light, and who raised the issue in May with the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch and filed a complaint in early August,  had concerns. Meikle also is continuing a civil suit he filed in July against the city and Trio Marine.

Read more: Lack of trust keeps lawsuit against City of Penticton afloat

In a June 16 reply to Meikle’s concerns, LCLB manager of licensing administration Heather Stewart said they do not usually require evidence of valid interest other than requiring the applicant to sign a declaration. The applicant is expected to obtain the proper permits.

“It is my view at the time the license was issued we had no evidence or reason to withhold the license approval,” wrote Stewart. “You have now brought to our attention that valid interest and business permits may not be in place.”

Meikle was concerned the number of agreements was confusing for people.

“The public out there don’t know where we are at,”  Meikle told council. “When can we get a signed and dated copy of all the agreements that we can sit down and look at before we take further actions?”

Moroziuk reassured Meikle that the agreements would be made available as soon as they were completed.