Lulu Island winery wants to add restaurant

Lulu Island Winery wants to open a restaurant at its East Richmond locale. - Mark Patrick file photo
Lulu Island Winery wants to open a restaurant at its East Richmond locale.
— image credit: Mark Patrick file photo

City staff are backing a bid from Lulu Island Winery to add a restaurant to its farm-based business—provided it isn’t used as a banquet hall.

If city council agrees, the winery must then seek approval from the Agricultural Land Commission.

Built in 2009 at 16880 Westminster Hwy. in East Richmond, Lulu Island Winery already has the space capable of hosting a 3,542-square-foot restaurant and outdoor patio.

That year, the winery drew the ire of the city’s agricultural advisory committee for hosting functions committee members said were beyond allowable uses in the Agricultural Land Reserve. That prompted politicians to wonder whether it was built with adequate scrutiny.

That’s why city staff are also suggesting the Agricultural Land Commission require registration of a legal agreement on title that prohibits the use of the winery as a banquet hall or “event hosting venue.”

Staff are also suggesting council regulate the size of future wineries.

A bylaw amendment presented Tuesday would limit future wineries to 10,764 square feet—including processing, storage and retail areas.

Existing wineries, such as the 22,260-square-foot Lulu Island Winery, would be grandfathered.

“This allows the city and farming community to have a firm regulation to prevent large-scale industrial wineries that obtain all of their farm product from off-site and potentially outside of Richmond,” said Mark McMullen, senior co-ordinator of major projects for the city, in a report Tuesday.

“Such wineries should be located on industrial-zoned lands.”

The size limit would also prevent wineries from growing “incrementally.”

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