The event promoter of a ‘Ladies Night’ – featuring male exotic dancers at a Marine Drive establishment – says the City of White Rock has taken issue with the event, and is now not responding to requests for more information.
Katey Pederson, promoter of the Dec. 1 event at The BEACH, told Peace Arch News Nov. 17 that she looked into the regulations, got all the clearances, talked to the city’s bylaw department and got a special event permit from the province: “Everything has been cleared,” she said.
An online article posted by PAN the next day attracted more than 20 comments, most of which were in support of the event.
However, on Nov. 21, city communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi told PAN the event did not receive civic approval.
Farrokhi told PAN by email that the event is not approved because the “current liquor licensing wouldn’t allow it” and that the event requires a special event permit from the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB).
Today (Thursday), Pederson informed PAN that the province revoked the group’s special event permit and said the liquor control board informed her the request to cancel the permit was made to the board by the City of White Rock.
The province has yet to respond to PAN’s request for comment.
Pederson said she emailed White Rock’s manager of building and bylaw enforcement Wednesday, saying she was told by the province that it has “no problem with the event but the issue clearly lies with (the) city taking issue and we are to work with the city to make this event happen.”
She asked for clarification if the group would need council approval for the event to go ahead; “If so, when does council meet again? How do we apply to meet with council?”
Farrokhi paints a different picture of why the special event permit was revoked.
She told PAN that the LCLB informed the applicant that the permit would be revoked due to the organizer not having submitted a “de-licensing application.” She said it’s “also our understanding” that the LCLB told the applicant that they do not have appropriate zoning for adult entertainment and there is no application to de-license the ‘food primary’ license to ‘liquor primary.’
Farrokhi said “city staff note” that adult entertainment does not conform to the zoning bylaw, and “staff also pointed out that the existing license did not permit a use other than a restaurant.”
She said that if someone is looking to bring this type of event into White Rock, it would require a change in liquor licensing and associated zoning requirements.
“This could not be done without a rezoning and/or opportunity for public comment,” she said.
Pederson disputed Farrokhi’s explanation that the event could not proceed without a rezoning or hearing.
“From my understanding, the process that is mentioned here relates to changing a license at an establishment from a ‘food primary’ license to a ‘liquor primary’ licence, not a special event,” Pederson said.
“A special event permit was what the event applied for and was given.”
Pederson said organizers “remain committed to working with all parties to bring this event to White Rock on December 1 as planned. The show must go on.”