The McDonald’s on Saanich Road is open 24 hours and has two lanes for ordering in the drive-thru. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich councillor ponders potential for drive-thru ban, gets met with mixed reactions

No ban on the immediate horizon for District of Saanich

A Saanich councillor asking residents to weigh in on drive-thrus received mixed feedback.

On Monday, Coun. Colin Plant tweeted about a U.S. city banning drive-thrus and asked Saanich residents for their thoughts on the matter.

Plant wasn’t expecting the tweet to get “social media wings,” and turn into “drive-thru-gate,” but many residents replied with their thoughts. The responses were mixed as some thought the environmental benefits of phasing out drive-thrus would be worth it, while others wondered about the impacts a similar ban would have on residents with small children, disabilities or pets.

“The response was ‘we like the environment but we also like our drive-thrus,’” Plant said.

He noted some respondents thought banning drive-thrus would mean getting rid of existing ones. However, even in Minneapolis, the U.S city that just banned drive-thrus, drive-thrus will simply be phased out as local officials will not approve any more.

He also noted in a follow-up tweet that he spoke too soon, as Saanich’s Official Community Plan already states the District discourages drive-thrus in new developments.

This is based on two factors, Plant said. The District wants to encourage less idling in drive-thrus as it’s bad for the environment and seeks to plan more walkable neighbourhoods where drive-thrus are unnecessary.

The existing policy isn’t about taking anything away, he explained, but rather it focuses on limiting expansion. View Royal has a similar policy that prohibits future drive-thrus, but the existing ones remain open, he said.

Other cities in B.C. have similar policies that are specific to each municipality. For example, in Golden drive-thrus are only allowed near highways and in business park zones, while in Qualicum Beach, they’ve been banned altogether.

Currently, a full ban on drive-thrus isn’t being considered for Saanich, Plant reiterated.

READ ALSO: Proposed drive-thru for Saanich closer to opening

There is a fast-food drive-thru being planned at the Chevron gas station at the southwest corner of Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road in Saanich, but the situation is unique, said Plant. The gas station was already operating a non-conforming coffee bar drive-thru and the company argued that the new restaurant drive-thru isn’t an issue as it’s using the existing window.

Plant noted it’s reasonable for a drive-thru to be grandfathered in if one restaurant leaves a location and a new one takes over the land. However, the nuances of the gas station drive-thru will require a well thought out decision from council, he added.

Saanich News has reached out to the District for comment and will update this story.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City frustrated as truck lodged under bridge one week after Victoria installs new signage

Dozens of trucks and buses have hit the E&N Rail bridge on Hereward Road

Police watchdog looking for witnesses to arrests in Victoria’s inner harbour

One male left injured after arrests near Red Fish Blue Fish

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Most Read