Thursday, July 2, 2020

June 29 Council Meeting: Considering a 400m buffer between tattoo services and between vape stores

Diversity and transparency are two key attributes of successful pedestrian-oriented shopping areas such as Downtown Langley.

Having a diversity of shops and services creates a draw for people to visit shopping areas. Once they arrive, it gives them a reason to stick around, and keep coming back.

Humans like watching other humans, and like seeing expressions of creativity. This is why coffee shops and restaurants are critical components in shopping areas. Having engaging storefronts is important for downtown areas as they are creative expressions. Storefront displays can be a draw unto themselves.

I know it is not much of a traditional today, but Christmas displays in stores were an attraction that most people viewed.

When there is something new in each window, people will continue walking to see “what’s just around the corner.”

People also need to see beyond the storefront to what’s inside, this is why shopping mall storefronts are transparent glass, and in thriving downtowns, you can see into shops.

For as long as I can remember, one of the constant policies of City Hall has been to support creating a pedestrian-oriented downtown. This is reflected in the current Downtown Master Plan, Langley City: Nexus of Community, and upcoming proposed Official Community Plan.

To ensure the diversity shops and services in Downtown Langley, council in the past has updated the City’s zoning bylaw to help facilitate a 400m buffer between thrift stores and between pharmacies. Council in considering the same measure for body art/tattoo services and vapour product stores (that primarily sell e-cigarettes, e-substances and cartridges.)

There are a good number of spas in our Downtown that do not have transparent windows. As part of the same update, council is considering only allowing spas (or body-rub services) that give treatments by people who are registered under the Health Professions Act, or would be eligible for a business license as a therapeutic touch therapist.

If this proposed set of measures are adopted, current businesses will be grandfathered in. The updated zoning will only apply to future businesses.

On Monday, council gave first and second reading to an updated zoning bylaw.

There will be an upcoming public hearing for people to provide input on these proposed changes later this month.

1 comment:

Shaun said...

This reads like Council is working *very* hard to create rationales for why it’s making operating difficult for businesses it doesn’t approve of. Like “frosted class is OK as long as you run a business we like”.