LETTERS: Bench 1775 Winery application

Application for special events at winery needs to be clarified and presented to the residents of this area.

For those who are not familiar with this application, it is to hold special events with live bands on approximately 43,000 sq.ft. (1 acre) that is on two parcels of land until up to 1 a.m., six or seven days a week, as well as an indoor lounge, serving alcohol other than their own products

I attended the council meeting on May 4 regarding this application and was one of the large number of residents speaking out against this application and to say I came away bewildered, confused and disappointed is an understatement. With the large numbers of voices against, I do not understand how council came to the decision to accept the lounge portion of the application.

I do not believe there was a clear definition of exactly what the lounge portion of the application consisted of  including floor size, location — inside, outside — hours of operation, type of alcohol to be served, entertainment, etc. This should be tabled until a complete definition is written on paper and presented to the residents for their comments or feelings on the matter.

The second and most bewildering of all came from the economic development officer Colleen Pennington presenting the dollar value of the B.C. winery industry and statistics of their operations. Councillors Andre Martin and Helena Konanz apparently agree this has merit. What on earth do these statistics have to do with the effect of an open air venue offering parties complete with live (or recorded) music and the selling of alcohol? Other than the winery’s own product and staying open long hours on the lives of effected residents. Her second idea of discussing this with the wine Council is of no value at all. In case she doesn’t get it, it is the residents of the area who are affected by this application.

I am sure if you looked at the statistical benefits of any province-wide business in B.C., they are all of economic benefit but they do not have the right (nor do they ask) to destroy the lives of neighbours. We all have a right to have some peace and quiet in our lives.

Until a proper clarification of this proposal is addressed and presented to the residents of this area for their opinions please refrain from proceeding with any of the application. Thank you for your understanding of our concerns.

Jim Forsyth

Naramata