Council considers drive-thrus in highway zone

Residents can comment on proposed bylaw change at the Aug. 27 public hearing

Council has passed second reading for a bylaw change that would see partial restoration of drive-thrus in the district, but they will be limited to auto-oriented corridors, namely the Lougheed Highway.

The change doesn’t completely overturn the drive-thru ban, but it permits new developments to include the controversial drive-thrus under a newly created Commercial Highway Two zone.

The rationale is that drive-thrus “must be considered an auto-oriented use and as such should be

considered where auto-oriented land uses are prevalent,” read the report to council.

But Mayor Ted Adlem expressed annoyance Monday evening that the proposal wasn’t what council had asked for, which was a complete repealing of the ban and a restoration of full access to drive-thru developments throughout the district.

The district’s director of planning Sharon Fletcher said it won’t curtail future developments outside of the Lougheed Highway corridor from applying for a drive-thru as a permitted use, but “what this did is it put drive-thrus back in the highway-commercial area, not in the downtown where generally you can’t get a drive-thru anyway.”

She went on to say that usually a development will have to be rezoned, and council would be able to decide whether it wanted to assign a zoning designation that would permit drive-thrus.

Coun. Jeff Jewell praised the planning department for making an improvement of council’s original request “to make it something that fits better within the practical considerations of the community.”

The zoning bylaw prohibiting drive-thrus in the district was adopted in the fall of 2009. On May 7, 2012, council resolved to reintroduce them as an outright permitted use in the district.

Mission currently has seven drive-thru restaurants, and two new developments approved in the past year will up that total to 11. Both are located along the Lougheed Highway.

The issue will now proceed to a public hearing on Aug. 27.