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HomeGrand Forks NewsGrand Forks waives off-street parking for Lumberjack Brewing development

Grand Forks waives off-street parking for Lumberjack Brewing development

A proposed $3.5 million brew pub and restaurant in the market district of Grand Forks won’t have to worry about off-street parking.

City council approved a development variance waiving the required 25 spaces and a $25,000 fee during a special meeting Monday afternoon.

Developer Mark Szynkaruk said he was “not pleased” to have to speak to council again after a previous form and character application was approved.

“It is of my opinion that council, your ability, to fumble a ‘gimme’ in terms of a private investment of this magnitude, this badly, while polarizing such a non-issue, in my opinion is incompetence personified,” Szynkaruk said.

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While councillors defended their support of the project, the meeting was tense at times, with some on council bristling at the accusations.

Coun. Rod Zielinski says rules have been in place for years for a reason.

“I think it would be disingenuous to Clyde’s (Pub), CIBC, the strip mall, all those people that have parking lots they had to have and have to maintain on a daily basis. So I think it’s a bit of a slap in the face for them,” Zielinski said.

The councillor added he’s been around the council table a long time and has seen many businesses “promise a whole bunch of things for concessions that never happened..too many.”

“When have I not delivered?” Szynkaruk snapped back, prompting Mayor Everett Baker to interject in an effort to maintain order.

The waiving of the parking requirement passed with Couns. Zielinski and Zak Eburne-Stoodley not voting in favour.

Lumberjack Brewing is expected to be built in the next two to three years.

Based on what happened Monday, city council has also asked staff for a report on development bylaws as it pertains to parking with a view of maybe eliminating the development requirement altogether.

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