Vernon’s BX Press Cidery is proposing to add a new outdoor patio and indoor lounge, pending public input and approval from the regional district. (BX Press photo)

Vernon’s BX Press Cidery is proposing to add a new outdoor patio and indoor lounge, pending public input and approval from the regional district. (BX Press photo)

Vernon cidery hopes to add outdoor patio, new indoor lounge

BX Press Cidery is adapting to COVID-19 business models, but RDNO says public input needed first

A Vernon cidery is hoping to tweak its liquor licence in order to add a new patio and lounge, and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is inviting nearby residents to share their thoughts on the idea.

BX Press Cidery has applied to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) to change their cider manufacturing facility liquor licenses on their East Vernon Road property.

In an apparent move to adapt to the shifting market that’s been foisted on serving businesses due to the pandemic, BX Press is proposing to add a new outdoor patio, make structural alterations to an approved lounge area, to be used at times for special events and endorsements.

In addition, the cidery owner, Melissa Dobernigg, wants to make structural changes to the manufacturing facility.

The cidery was established in 2013 and is currently approved for cider manufacturing, lounge space, special events and on-site store endorsement, according to an RDNO information report dated Jan. 15.

In that report, the district’s planning department recommends that because of the possibility for impact in the local area, public input should be gathered among those in the immediate vicinity of the cidery.

The four-hectare property is on the east and south sides of East Vernon Road. The property slopes gradually upwards and contains a cidery, a single-family dwelling, a barn and a garage. The rest of the property is used as an apple orchard.

The proposed covered outdoor patio is 122 square metres, with proposed hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The cidery’s existing covered patio would be enclosed to create the proposed indoor lounge, which would be 124 square metres, for a maximum occupancy of 89 people (not during COVID-19 restrictions).

Other structural operation changes would include concerting the current on-site store into a new store and kitchen area.

“Without consulting with the adjacent land owners, the Board cannot provide comments,” the report states. “Staff suggest it would be difficult to fully assess the impact of the proposal on the local residents beyond the levels that would otherwise be generated from the currently approved uses.”

An opportunity for public input will be provided to residents within 100 metres of BX Press Cidery.

So far the Ministry of Transportation has said it has no authority to comment on the proposal, and the Agricultural Land Commission has asked for clarification on one point before commenting.

The matter was brought before the board of directors on Feb. 11. Staff could not be reached for comment at the time of this story’s publication.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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