Arnold Muir accused Mission council of stifling business opportunities and asked politicians to re-consider the anti-drive-thru bylaw created two years ago.
It was done without consultation and has caused more harm than good, said Muir during a March 21 council meeting when he appeared as a delegation.
Some councillors believe drive-thrus create safety issues and are an environmental hazard, but Muir questions how many pedestrian injuries or fatalities have actually occurred. He also said if drive-thrus didn’t exist, vehicles would be congesting parking lots and as a result, larger parking lots would have to be created.
“This is a busy world and not everyone has time to line up inside a fast food restaurant,” Muir added. It’s not easy for seniors and families with young children to get in and out of their vehicles.
Drive-thrus are a convenience and consumers should have that choice, he argued.
Mission Western Developments is a victim of this bylaw as it received approval-in-principle in 2007, but after working through environmental issues with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, found the rules changed in 2009.
“Why not work with businesses to make it economically viable?” he asked.
Last November, Mission council voted 4-3 to consider drive-thru restaurants at specific sites, allowing the proposed development at Lougheed Highway and Cedar Valley Connector to proceed.
But MWD is going through the entire process again because the developers changed their application in January this year, said Barclay Pitkethly, Mission’s deputy director of planning.
Instead of working through issues around Windebank Creek, MWD wants to sever that part of the property and donate it to a group that will preserve it. In addition to dealing with environmental issues, the ministry of transportation also has to be consulted because the property is on a provincial highway.
The new building plan includes two drive-thrus, and the issue is expected to be back before council later this year.