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Richmond Night Market wins conditional approval in 7-2 vote

The Richmond Night Market wants to open next to River Rock Casino Resort. -
The Richmond Night Market wants to open next to River Rock Casino Resort.
— image credit:

The odds of at least one Asian-themed night market coming to Richmond this summer are growing.

At a special council meeting yesterday, city council voted 7-2 to refer a permit application from Raymond Cheung's Firework Productions to a March 19 public hearing.

City council will finally decide the market's fate following the hearing.

The permit would allow a market to operate on a large vacant property at the north end of No. 3 Road, previously home to a cement plant, from May to October for the next three years. The site is next to River Rock Casino Resort.

Last month, city council's planning committee halted the market's expected endorsement after Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which operates River Rock, complained market traffic would negatively impact the casino.

Casino officials told council that access to River Rock would be impeded by market traffic on River Road—and some pay parking at the market would also drive market customers into casino parkades.

But Cheung is now abandoning his potential for pay parking, would staff lots with attendants and is planning an alternate access route to the parking lot if streets become overwhelmed with vehicle traffic.

City staff say the changes—designed by consultant R.F. Binnie and Associates Ltd.—address concerns raised by the casino.

"With these recommended changes, transportation division staff conclude that the parking intrusion and traffic queues will be minimized to reduce impacts on surrounding businesses, land uses and city roads," said planner Kevin Eng, in his report.

Under the new plan, Cheung's 1,505-stall lot would be free for the duration of the market, with 300 spots reserved for vendors and employees. Free parking removes pay booths, which could have been traffic choke points.

According to the R.F. Binnie report, the market operator is also exploring the possibility of securing an additional parking lot at Bridgeport and No. 3 roads. The consultant also noted the market will promote the use of public transit through advertising, promotions and prizes.

Approval of a second night market to operate at 12631 Vulcan Way is pending. Paul Cheung's Lions Communications is proposing to stage its fourth market on the north Richmond property near Home Depot.

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