City Liquor Licensing Policy & Process
Liquor licensing involes a balance between business growth and impacts to the community.
Our liquor licensing policy supports responsible licensees who demonstrate a commitment to minimizing the negative impacts of their business operations on the community, and to take action against the licensees whose business operations have a negative impact on the community.
The policy is designed to advise applicants of:
- The objectives of the City's liquor licensing policy.
- The evaluation measures and process employed by the City in assessing a liquor application.
- The City's compliance and enforcement policy.
A. Objectives & Process
The City’s review of liquor applications is directed firstly by the Liquor Control and Licensing Act and secondly by the City’s Liquor Licence Policy [PDF - 134 KB] and the Liquor Licensing Fee Bylaw [PDF - 813 KB]. Application to LCLB requiring the input of local government are subject to the City’s applicable policy and Bylaw for review. Application of the bylaw and policy will determine applicable fees and process for review which may include an ability to “opt-out” of a formalized review, indicating immediate support for the application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB).
Applications requiring a council resolution will follow one of two streams:
Council Resolution Not Required - Council Support for the following application types will be indicated by city staff based on policy indicating the City will opt-out of a formalized review process:
Liquor Primary with licensed service up to 10:00 pm and having an occupant load less than 31 persons.
Manufacturer with Lounge Endorsement, Special Event Area, or Picnic Area with licensed service up to 10:00 pm and having an occupant load less than 31 persons.
An extension to hours of licensed service for all license types up to 3:00 am on New Year’s Eve.
- The addition of an Entertainment Endorsement to any Food Primary with licensed service up to 12:00 am.
Council Resolution Required - Resolutions will be provided within 90 days of accepting the application. The review process involves the following:
Staff review – Police, Planning, Engineering and Bylaw Enforcement.
Public Notification including a mailed notice to residents with 100 meters of the establishment and a Notice Posting for a period of 30 days at the establishment.
- A report to Council is prepared which considers comments from the staff review and public comments.
The report to Council will be shared with the applicant prior to presenting to Council and opportunity to address or mitigate concerns brought forward will be provided.
The Criteria for review is established by the applicable LCLB application and can be found in the part titled Local Government/First Nation Confirmation of Receipt of Application.
All establishments licensed to serve alcohol must have a City of Victoria Business Licence to lawfully conduct its business. A business licence may be suspended or revoked by Council if a business owner continually operates their business in contravention of City bylaws or other laws governing the conduct of their business.
Businesses that have a history of non-compliance with local and provincial government bylaws and legislation or re-occurring nuisance issues may be subject to a Good Neighbour Agreement that will be reviewed along with the annual renewal of a business licence. Lack of adherence to this agreement may result in a business licence being revoked. This will be assessed by staff on a case by case.
Bylaw Officers, Victoria City Police and LCLB inspectors will enforce City bylaws and Provincial liquor licensing regulations governing licensees.
Initiating an Application
Liquor Licenses are a requirement of the Provincial Government and it is to LCLB that an application is made. LCLB provides the application and offers guidance to applicants in selecting the appropriate application type. Once selected, if the application requires that Local Government/First Nation receive the application – this must be done prior to formally making application with LCLB.
Fees for received LCLB liquor are found in the Liquor Licensing Fee Bylaw [PDF - 813 KB] and are as follows
$200 application fee for a licence application that requires a staff assessment
$750 application fee for a licence application that requires a staff assessment and Council assessment
$40 for a staff assessment of a license application for a temporary change to a liquor license’s terms and conditions