In 2007, the Zoning Bylaw was amended to require new liquor stores to be at least 500 metres from an existing liquor store. While the separation distance has been effective in restricting further proliferation of new liquor stores along established commercial corridors such as Whyte Avenue. The requirement has not worked well in Edmonton’s suburban commercial areas.

On Monday December 12, 2016, City Council approved changes to the way the Zoning Bylaw regulates the separation distance between liquor stores on and around large commercial sites in suburban areas with the adoption of Bylaw 17836.

Project Stage

Zoning Bylaw Council Decision

Amendments were approved by City Council and came into effect on Monday December 12, 2016 (Item 3.10).

What's Changed?

New regulations allow liquor stores to be within 500 metres of each other if:

  • the liquor stores are located on separate sites;
  • the liquor stores are located outside the boundary of the non-exemption area; and
  • at least one of the liquor stores is located on a site greater than 2.5 hectares and on a Direct Control or commercially zoned site.

The exemption to the separation distance requirement provides limited opportunity for additional liquor stores on and around large commercial sites in suburban areas, while maintaining 500 metres between new liquor stores in mature neighbourhoods.

The 100 metre separation distance requirement remains unchanged and in place for sensitive locations such as parks, schools, community league buildings and recreation centres.

Public Consultation

The City of Edmonton is committed to citizen engagement.

Thank you to the approximately 1700 respondents  who participated in the July 2015 survey and provided feedback throughout the project. Feedback received was used to refine the draft regulations presented to Executive Committee on Monday October 5, 2015 (Item 6.1) and Tuesday April 26, 2016 (Item 6.3).

Next Steps

Following the adoption of Bylaw 17836, City Council directed City staff to report back on the effectiveness of the changes to the separation distance by the end of 2018.