Bylaw amendment could mean expanded uses for Calnash Ag Event Centre

Public hearing set for Sept. 24

Town Council passed first reading of a bylaw to amend the land use bylaw for the Calnash Ag Event Centre during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

The amendment gives a more detailed definition of “agricultural event centre” in order to more accurately describe what currently occurs in the centre and what could occur in the future.

The new definition would allow the facility to expand its services and kinds of events it can hold in the future and accommodates additional uses and tenants.

The definition was expanded to include non-agricultural events such as tradeshows, vehicle shows and sales, concerts and festivals, and incidental uses such as food and beverage concessions, restaurants, food catering facilities as well as leasing space for office use and livestock handling related uses.

The bylaw would also assign “agricultural event centre” as a permitted use in the Institutional and Public Use Designation.

The changes will make it easier to the centre to gain development permit in the future, like it had to do for the Phase III cattle pavilion.

Coun. Carla Prediger questioned the incidental uses being added, such as those allowing for food and beverage.

Craig Teal, director of Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS), answered that the Calnash already has food and beverage services in place, but adding those items to the definition allow for an actual restaurant on the premises, and to make use of the banquet space available on the second floor.

The additional items were added at the request of Calnash Ag Event Centre board members and staff.

Coun. Teri Underhill, who sits on the board, said that the current concession lease holder was hoping to operate a high-end restaurant in the centre in the future.

With the cattle pavilion roof almost complete, business at the centre is going to increase exponentially as the new roof will accommodate an increase in cattle events, says Underhill.

For the bigger shows, the centre hopes to rent office space to organizers for a month or two in advance of their event.

A public hearing was set for Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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