Sackville by-election candidates differ over lifting the ban on more drive-thrus

Town council candidates. L-R: Dylan Wooley-Berry, Sabine Dietz, Julia Feltham, Brian Neilson, Shawn Mesheau

The five candidates running for Sackville Town Council in the December 10th municipal by-election expressed a wide-range of views about permitting more fast-food drive-thru restaurants during an all-candidates forum Wednesday evening at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre.

Former town councillor Shawn Mesheau and candidate Julia Feltham talked about a more business-friendly approach, while the other three candidates stressed community development and environmental concerns.

“I’m going to answer the question outright: Yes,” Mesheau said in response to a question about whether he would support lifting the ban on additional fast-food drive-thrus in the highway commercial zone near the TransCanada.

Mesheau explained that he was on council in 2001 when the town first banned more drive-thrus because of traffic congestion around the ones at highway exit 504.

While he acknowledged the need to deal with long-term environmental concerns about what he called “our carbon footprint,” Mesheau said that businesses near the highway want to expand and offer a service to travellers.

“They’re looking to do that in order that they can stay in business and so that they might be able to employ more folks,” he said.

Infrastructure costs

Julia Feltham

Candidate Julia Feltham offered what she said might be “a slightly obnoxious nuanced answer” to the drive-thru question, adding that public policy often is that way.

“I don’t want to see more drive-thrus at exit 504, but I would be open to a development on 506, possibly,” Feltham added.

She said private developers invested about a million dollars at exit 504, with the town kicking in a lot of money on “quite a large infrastructure component.”

Feltham added that she hoped exit 506 could be developed without such big costs to the town while mitigating any environmental effects.

“I am concerned about the environmental risk,” she said, “but the idea of turning away business without hearing how they will possibly mitigate the infrastructure costs and everything else, I’d have to hear quite a bit more.”

Environmental concerns

Candidate Brian Neilson said he worries about the environmental impact of idling cars emitting greenhouse gases at drive-thrus.

Brian Neilson

“I think if we had our wits about us, we would do best at making exit 506 a destination and to actually have people get out of their cars, walk by the train bridge, walk along the dykes like I did as a student,” Neilson said.

He suggested developing facilities that would encourage people to stop and eat while enjoying cultural and recreational activities in the area.

Candidate Dylan Wooley-Berry also expressed concerns about the environmental effects of idling cars, especially near the children’s day care on Bridge Street.

Wooley-Berry said he disagreed with consultants who suggested the development of a commercial/residential complex at exit 506 complete with a couple of fast-food drive-thrus.

“I think we should be focusing on developing our downtown core,” he said. “There’s existing businesses there that need town council support and I think that’s where we should target when we’re talking about development in Sackville.”

Wooley-Berry added he advocates free public WiFi as one innovative way to develop the downtown.

Flood risks

Candidate Sabine Dietz said that while she also worries about the environmental and health effects of drive-thrus, her overriding concern is the danger of flooding around exit 506.

“If I look at the flood-risk maps and I look at the 506 interchange in the Cattail Ridge area, then you — at this time — cannot develop that area,” she said, adding that a major, one-in-one-hundred year storm, which could happen any time, would cut off the whole area.

“Both Bridge Street and the highway exits [would] have more than a metre of water over them; that is not passable,” Dietz said.

The ambulance station (outlined in red) is being built off Robson Ave. next to the Westmorland Animal Hospital

“I would suggest that before even considering any further development — whether it is recreational development or anything — that we do need to update our flood-risk maps and then look as a community [at] what is actually the development that is appropriate for areas that are highly likely to get flooded,” she added.

“So, believe me when I tell you, that ambulance building out there should not be there, and if you look at the flood map, it’s one of the worst places to have that,” Dietz said.

This is the first in a three-part series on the all-candidates forum organized by The New Wark Times. You can hear the entire forum on CFTA, 107.9 FM this Sunday, December 2, at 1 p.m.

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34 Responses to Sackville by-election candidates differ over lifting the ban on more drive-thrus

  1. G says:

    I wonder how the tree huggers got to the meeting. By slay?

  2. Rima Azar says:

    Thank you for this article, Mr. Wark.

    First, what a nice picture. Everyone is handsome/beautiful (smiling 😊). I can now see that I physically know/like at least two persons…Each candidate has strengths to offer to the position. Best wishes.

    Sadly, I missed the forum because I could not leave work before 9 PM on that day.

    Four of the candidates talked about the environment (superb) in their answers about the drive thrus…..but only one candidate, namely Mr. Mesheau, remembered that *LOCAL people* (including the Alders…) are part of the environment as much as trees, plants, all the other animals, the sky, the water, etc. It is noble to think of the young kids in daycare but any pollution from nearby cars would rather inconsequential, I believe.

    I still think the Alders deserve their drive thru.

  3. Louis says:

    “Think of the children!” emotional appeals, serve to obfuscate the facts, which are that pollutants disperse, and so the pollution level will decrease proportionately to the square of the distance from the source.

    To me, the real question is, how the debate can turn into such an inane question as that of the absolutely-minimal-and-theoretical-at-best environmental effects of having a drive-thru, while ignoring a species that is seriously threatened in our local environment: LOCAL PEOPLE WITH A LOCAL JOB. That’s the most endangered species in Sackville right now. I suspect that aboriginals might be familiar with this feeling.

    So here’s the question that really SHOULD have been considered: “Do you have any ideas that will encourage local employment, instead of locals having to drive to Moncton for work, or quitting the province entirely?”

    The Alders’ drive-thru would have added a few such jobs.

    • Azi says:

      Very well said, Louis. I am amazed as to how having or not having drive-thrus can be an important topic for a town with zillions of other important topics and issues for consideration. As if everything is perfect and only drive-thrus have remained.

      • Rima Azar says:

        Thanks ADB. Interesting interview.

        I think before thinking of changing the standards of immigration (lowering the criteria from skilled workers to any labour worker), we need to remove barriers to the job market for our local immigrants (those already in Canada and who are skilled and do not find jobs).

        For example, one of my cousins (in another province) now has a decent job, thank goodness, but only after 2-3 years jobless. Perhaps things have changed….but when I was looking for my first job in Canada as a salesperson in a store, like so many other people, we were faced with the following barrier: You do not have the Canadian experience. So, no job for you… That was over 28 years ago. Whilst discussing with one of my former students from abroad, I realized that she has experienced something similar in Canada not a long time ago. So, this tells me attitudes take time to change. I recall having told the store owner who ended up hiring me a bit boldly: “Please stop. You are going to tell me like the other stores of this mall that I do not have the Canadian experience… I want to tell you before you say so: Hire me so I can start to have this famous Canadian experience. If you do not hire me, you will not have the chance to know that I learn fast”. She said: “Hired. When can you start working”? I started the next day. I began with no Canadian experience. I ended up winning sales prizes competitions every weekend. I managed to fill my closet with nice clothes like that (ok meant for a pregnant clientele…but this could be easily hidden 😊).

        In addition to, or maybe even before, immigration (that enriches economy, demography, etc.), I think we need to facilitate migration between provinces for jobs. If we increase the minimum salary wage as much as possible, if we reduce air travel tickets (opening the competition or ending the monopoly), we can improve our national economy.

        I wrote immigration above. Not massive migration– without making sure we have the resources to be as human as we want to be in that case because it would end up being cruel to promise the moon to those desperate people…but only to tell them a few years after: Sorry, your refugee application was refused. You have to leave now.

        I happen to think there is a difference between people escaping war regions and people just dreaming of a better life without going by the rules of immigration (we usually wait for a long time during the process— some of us had to wait under the shelling or risk their lives in boats to nearby islands to arrive to a Canadian embassy). It breaks my heart to see the suffering of these people….but for me, it is not the exact same reality. It is another sad reality.

        I personally think also that when we respect ourselves enough, we protect our barriers well. Just like our immune system knows how to differentiate between the self and non-self. Just like when we are in a relationship with someone, we need to know what belongs to us and we belongs to others (responsibility, space, etc.). This is what allows us to have a healthy relationship with others.

        For me, the question is how can Canada be/remain human in a realistic way? In airplanes, they teach us to put the mask on ourselves first before putting it on someone in distress in case of emergencies. Do we have enough masks? Do we have enough resources to be as generous as we want to be? If so, then welcome to the whole planet in Canada, especially if you are saying: We have some much jobs here and no one to fill them. If not, we can still be human but in more realistic ways or in different ways. We can perhaps also support other countries in providing better living conditions to their citizens?

        To conclude, I admire people in Sackville/the Maritimes. Many of them work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Some work after retirement even. I hope everyone can find a fulfilling job. I wish all our entrepreneurs the best too. I totally agree with the interview guests: If business owners are busy doing the job tasks themselves (due to lack of employees), they would have less time to strategize in order to grow.

        Thank you again, ADB.

  4. Rima Azar says:

    Well said, Louis… Food for thought! I totally agree with you, especially with your conclusion: “So here’s the question that really SHOULD have been considered: “Do you have any ideas that will encourage local employment, instead of locals having to drive to Moncton for work, or quitting the province entirely?”

    Bruce Wark comments: Thanks for your thoughts Rima and Louis. Thanks too for Louis’s profound thoughts about the question that SHOULD have been considered. Good to know, but since Louis didn’t take the time to organize the forum and I did, I guess I got to ask the initial questions, which I would point out, were specific ones that Sackville Town Council has considered in its current term while I was in attendance and you were not.

    • Wendy Alder says:

      Thanks Bruce for organizing the debate. Very interesting responses to great questions. I agree that what could have been asked was “Do you have any ideas that will encourage local employment, instead of locals having to drive to Moncton for work, or quitting the province entirely.” I only wish I had have thought of it because I was there and definite,y would have asked, the question I went with was about the controversial drive throughs but Bruce covered that off very well so then I racked my brain for another question! Thanks for all the support on drive throughs.

      • Brian Neilson says:

        Thanks to everyone on this thread who share their thoughts and were able to attend the debate. I still maintain the position that exit 506 should be developed as a travel/tourist destination with picnic area, reasonable play area, interpretive trails/signage as well as free device charging station as an added service (maybe even solar powered). But more pertinently, I believe we need to invest in who already lives here and we work to explore and develop initiatives that build our human capital.

        Part of the vision of Sackville Schools 2020 is to integrate local business needs and issues into the project based learning that will shape the future of curriculum delivery. There would be several local benefits to this approach. These include: making connections in our students’ minds between the “when are we going to use this in real life?” question and the fact that what they are learning in the classroom has an application beyond it–then they see it first hand which in turn could see our children want to stay here; acknowledging that not all local students are going to go to Mt. A. or some other university, SS2020’s hope to build up a cadre of red seal tradespeople to offer exposure to various trades (and possible accredited hours) would be another investment in our collective future and keep some locals in town after graduation; children growing up through a system of facilities that were exceptional would be another incentive to stay in Sackville so their children could have the same fabulous experience; and an innovative, integrated learning campus would be a draw for people to come to our town and invest in it both personally and professionally.

        These are just some of the thoughts off the top of my head. I love the serious and sincere tone of all involved here and our shared desire for a better Sackville.

      • Louis says:

        @Brian Neilson: Thank you for articulating a realistic and interesting vision for this community.

        I (also?) think that there is much too little emphasis on the trades and the good jobs that can come with them.

  5. Sharon Hicks says:

    Both Rima and Louis certainly raise an interesting point – Local employment is absolutely an issue which needs to be addressed.

    We could also take a closer look at the history of the so-called ‘ban’ on drive-thrus, which stems from a bylaw adjustment back in 2001, when that move was made to give Council time to take a hard look at how to better control future development without ending up with the congestion which exists at Exit 504.

    The one experienced candidate in this current campaign, Shawn Mesheau, was on Council at that time, and he recalls it was intended as a temporary measure. It was never meant to be a permanent ban. And now here we are 17 years later, and it is being treated as a ‘cut in stone’ commandment which “cannot be changed”.

    Also, at the all-candidates forum on Wednesday night, candidate Mesheau made reference to the recommendation made to Council by Planner Lori Bickford in June of 2016. That report actually included a recommendation to allow drive-thrus in selected areas (Highway Commercial), and also provided a well-thought-out list of requirements which would have to be met before a business could build a drive-thru.

    There was also a notation in that report that the list could be further tailored as Council might see fit. With those requirements in place, it would prevent what one Councillor stated was a prime concern – that if they “allowed one, then they would spring up everywhere.”

    What was also overlooked at that time, and continues to be overlooked, is the other recommendation made by our Planner – she stated that to change the bylaw requires just a basic one-line “text adjustment”.

    With that simple update in place, then businesses in the Highway-Commercial Zone would be allowed to apply for Drive-Thrus. If their applications met the complete list of requirements, then they would be granted a Drive-Thru permit.

    If the requirements were not met, then no Drive-Thru.

    Simple, Clean, and Fair to all.

    • Wendy Alder says:

      Now we just need someone on Council to put forward the change to the bylaw which would then open up the possibility. I was at a meeting a few months back and asked now that the exit 506 study was done, would council be amending the bylaw. The mayor’s comment at the time was that as far as he knew, there was no current application to change the bylaw but if one was submitted they would consider it. My understanding from over half of the councillors is that they would support drive throughs at exit 506 but no more at exit 504 (even though Burger King is now coming and there’s nothing they can do about it). My comment/question to the current councillors that would support druve thrus at exit 506 is what’s stopping you from requesting the amendments? my understanding is that bylaws can be changed by councillors, there’s not a need for someone to put a request into planning, councillors can start the action on their own, just like they did with the heritage bylaw. As a citizen, I have to pay $1509 to change a bylaw (even if it’s voted down) but councillors can request the amendments. So, to the councillors who support drive thrus at exit 506, I ask you to request planning make a change!!

  6. ADB says:

    Local employment is an issue which needs to be addressed but the actual employment problem can not be solved with a drive through.

    New Brunswick has a labour shortage. Restaurant and café owners are having a very difficult time hiring new employees. A quick google search will bring up hundreds of news articles pertaining to a “Labour Crisis” in the industry. Many of the cafés and restaurants in Sackville and the surrounding area are currently looking for workers and are struggling to find and retain them. Some restaurants in the region have actually cut back hours and/or closed due to the shortage of workers. Adding new Quick Serve operations to the area will only exacerbate the issue.

    The problem Sackville is facing is not a shortage of jobs but a shortage of workers and sadly no amount of drive throughs is going to solve that problem.

    • Wendy Alder says:

      To “The problem Sackville is facing is not a shortage of jobs but a shortage of workers and sadly no amount of drive through is going to solve that problem”

      There are people who drive to Moncton or Amherst daily for less $/hr than we pay our staff, if our problem isn’t a shortage of jobs then why do they have to work outside of Town?

      Our proposal for a drive through was turned down but Burger King is opening up in the old Wendy’s location and guess what ADB? They are going to have a drive through due to a development agreement that overrides this ridiculous bylaw to ban drive throughs which according to councillors at the time it was created, was meant to be a temporary solution while they dealt with traffic nightmares at exit 504.

      Doesn’t seem fair that a new business can come to a Town and do what they need to (have a drive through) but yet life long citizens and third generation business owners are told “no”. Another plus for that exit and for people to frequent exit 504 instead of 506.

      To your comment on the labour crisis in that industry, I’m sure Burger King will find staff in Sackville to work at their new location. I’d love to have a debate with you on this topic, everyone has their opinions, you know mine, I know yours but unfortunately I don’t know who you are as you won’t disclose your name.

      • ADB says:

        @Wendy Alder

        Corporations like Burger King do not care that you are a third generation Sackville business owner. If exit 506 is opened up to drive-through commercial development you will find yourself competing with corporations that have far more resources and much deeper pockets than we ever will. Local gas bars are disappearing across the maritimes at an alarming rate, the drive-through by-law may actually be protecting your business. Be careful what you wish for.

      • Wendy Alder says:

        @ADB I completely understand that Burger King doesn’t care I am a 3rd generation Sackville business owner (apparently neither do some of the councillors who voted against the change in bylaw). At this point I would be happy to have a Burger King or other food establishment on exiit 506 as that would help to pull travellers off the highway at our exit, with the goal that they would buy gas at the same time they would eat or buy coffee, etc. In 2002 when the Metro shut down, the exit was left with only Borden’s to pull people off the highway. Generally highway travellers are looking for both food and gas, therefore my father purchased the property and opened the gas station. Once they retired in 2007 and sold Borden’s there was no longer the food and gas at the exit. Changes made by the NB govt to HST rates, gas tax and tobacco tax have also had a detrimental effect on our business. We just want at our exit what they have at 504, the opportunity to have the drive thrus that cater to the travelling public. We don’t care at this point if we have a drive thru or someone else does, we can all work together to pull travellers off the highway, we want to see development at 506 that complements our business!! Once travellers are off the highway, as a Town we should have a strategy to get people to downtown to enjoy our downtown, parks, etc.

        Developing Exit 506 should also alleviate some of the traffic congestion at 504, more choices to the public should help with this. If you are tired of fighting traffic at 504 and need to fill up your car, come see us at 506! And buy your cheap propane at the same time!

  7. Rima Azar says:

    Dear ADB:

    I do not know if your comment is meant specifically for Louis or for me. Maybe not but I feel like replying :).

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observation. I see what you mean. Of course, I guess there is no magical solution to solve such a crying economic problem in a semi-rural province like ours. However, it seems to me that we can start with some basic common sense: Looking around in a community like ours and identifying its local strengths (or assets). Who are our successful entrepreneurs? Those who are in business and who are successful in hiring personnel and offering them good working conditions?

    I heard that the Alders pay their employees more than the minimum salary wage. I find this admirable, especially given the reality you described so well. They offer these working conditions to their current employees as private entrepreneurs, let’s not forget. This means that they do not rely on public funds to hire people like so many of us in town and in NB. Bravo to them! So, why don’t, as a town, think of collectively building on their success story to allow them to expand it and continue to succeed for years to come? Why should they have a spoke in their wheel? And why shouldn’t we make an exit of our town that leads to a main street more prosperous (ie., Bridge Street leads to our downtown)? They are not asking for public money. They are not asking for the moon.

    As Sharon explained it so well, giving them the political green light does not seem to be that complicated paper-work wise. It just needs a common-sense (political) decision. That’s it.

    • ADB says:

      Many of the vacant food service/ hospitality jobs in the area pay more than minimum wage.

      There is nothing stopping the Alders from expanding. They can add a Robin’s to their service station tomorrow if they wish. It just can’t have a drive-through. There are over 20 food service businesses in Sackville, some of which are very successful, and only 2 have drive-throughs. The Irving has a Subway and no drive-through, the Big Stop has a bustling family restaurant and no drive-through. Many gas stations across the country offer food service without having drive-throughs and many jurisdictions in Canada and the Maritimes have successful businesses despite having banned drive-throughs. There are lots of opportunities for the Alders to expand, just no drive-through. There are more pressing issues.

      • Sharon Hicks says:

        ADB … I find your comment interesting, where you refer to “many jurisdictions in Canada and the Maritimes have successful businesses despite having banned drive-throughs.” Could you expand on that a bit perhaps please? Where are those locations with drive-through bans?

        I ask this because two years ago I did extensive research on this topic, and could find hardly any actual bans against drive-throughs, anywhere across the country. What I did find were references to various areas which had considered that option, which generally resulted in either being voted down, or else amended to create stringent lists of requirements for drive-throughs to be allowed.

        Many of these requirements often include restrictions on specific areas of a municipality where drive-throughs would not be allowed, such as downtown areas, while allowing them in other areas such as highway-commercial zones. However this does not constitute an overall ‘ban’ such as we currently have here in Sackville.

        And yes, it is absolutely possible to have a successful business without a drive-thru, but that is not the issue here. It’s more about denying access to what some businesses consider to be a valuable addition to their bottom line. I know specifically of at least two restaurant chains over the past few years who have considered locating in Sackville, but when they learned of the existing ban against drive-throughs, they went elsewhere instead.

        Those businesses said it wasn’t worth their time to jump through the massive hoops required to even approach the planning commission in an attempt to revise the zoning regulations.

        So, in other words, Sackville’s existing drive-thru ban has effectively turned away at least two potential businesses which would have offered local job opportunities. In addition, they would have helped to pull traffic in off the highway to interest them in what else Sackville has to offer, not to mention the increased tax base an additional business would add.

        In a community with a shrinking population such as ours, we need to take advantage of every possible opportunity to grow our economy, and not make it less appealing for businesses to locate here.

      • Rima Azar says:

        Dear ADB:
        1. May I ask what are our town’s *more pressing issues*, according to you?
        2. The Big Stop is in Au Lac, not in Sackville. So it does not count here, although it is bustling, I agree (I love their delicious soft ice cream, by the way :)).
        3. We are lucky to have more and more restaurants in Sackville. All delicious, in different ways. I wish them all a very long life!
        Thank you.

      • Wendy Alder says:

        @ ADB (whoever you are) what are the more pressing issues? This issue of drive thrus is actually a pretty quick fix, as Lori Bickford stated it’s a change in text in the bylaw and adding some criteria so drive thrus “can’t pop up everywhere”. Not a huge time commitment for council to make this change

    • Wendy Alder says:

      Agreed thank you Rima!

  8. ADB says:

    @Sharon Hicks…

    ““Sackville’s existing drive-thru ban has effectively turned away at least two potential businesses which would have offered local job opportunities””

    Certainly far more than two restaurants chose to open in Sackville during this same period. The Painted Pony, Cranewood, Black Duck, Napule, Song’s Chopsticks, and the Downtown Diner opened in Sackville in the last few years just to name a few of the current establishments. There are over 20 restaurants in town; the drive-through ban has not been particularly effective in limiting the number of restaurants here in Sackville. The lack of corporate chain restaurants actually makes Sackville attractive to independent operators and as a rule independent operators cycle more money back into the local economy thereby growing it.

    There are currently plenty of good job opportunities in Sackville, as I mentioned before there is a severe labour shortage in New Brunswick. Our economy currently needs people more than new jobs and the lack of available workers is having a major downward effect on our economic growth. Drive-through jobs will not fix this very real problem that detrimentally effects many of the businesses in our town.

    ””In addition, they would have helped to pull traffic in off the highway to interest them in what else Sackville has to offer””

    I wish this were true. I have met dozens of people over the years who think Sackville is the overpass, they have driven past dozens of times or stopped to fill their tanks and have never been downtown. And if this statement were true, there is only so much coffee money to go around and if it’s spent at the highway it’s not going to be spent downtown.

    ””In a community with a shrinking population such as ours, we need to take advantage of every possible opportunity to grow our economy, and not make it less appealing for businesses to locate here.””

    Contrary to your opinion many of the people who have recently moved to Sackville and started new businesses chose Sackville specifically because it does not have chain restaurants and drive-throughs. Many folks want out of the city and want a simpler small town experience. Chain restaurants are everywhere and quaint towns are increasingly few and far between. If you want to improve our community concentrate its strengths.

    The by-law was put in place to solve a real problem. Removing the by-law does not solve any real problems and will not improve our community in any measurable way.

  9. Rima Azar says:

    Dear ADB (who replied to Sharon):

    You are not talking about the same market segment. Drive thru caters to people driving on the Canada highway. People stop at gas stations and at chain restaurants in those circumstances. They may have young kids. They may have someone disabled in the car. They may just driving through or it may be too cold outside, etc.

    Just to share a funny story, my dad had a client come in his store (in Beirut, Lebanon). The man was a tourist/expatriate from Montreal. He lives in my former neighborhood in Québec. They were both excited to talk about Canada. The man politely asked my dad about his daughter living there. My dad explained they we have moved to the East Coast. The man said: “Wow– where exactly?”. My dad thought to himself: He would not know Sackville probably… He just told him in a small town near Moncton in New Brunswick. The man asked again: “Where exactly”? My dad said: “the place is called Sackville”. The man’s face lit up and he said: “I love Sackville!”. To make the story short, he happens to know our town because he was driving on the highway once. He stopped for gas and a bite. Once in town, he was curious. He shared with my dad that he told himself: “Such a small town is cute… Let me drive around and explore quickly”. He did that and got to the downtown and the Mount A campus area (he even saw the Swan Pond!). He fell in love with the place in just 5 minutes, he told my dad. He added: *If I can find a job in Sackville, I would move right away and I am someone who adores Montreal*.

  10. Sharon Hicks says:

    Dear ADB … I’m somewhat disappointed that you weren’t able to provide any concrete answer to my question. And even more disappointed that you choose not to reveal your identity.

    The site you mentioned simply says a report was done that found 27 Canadian municipalities had implemented full or partial bans on drive-thru windows between 2002 and 2016.

    That all sounds very familiar, since I read similar reports a couple years ago, and went on to track down more comprehensive reports as well. That is where I gleaned the facts which I mentioned earlier. In all but a very few instances, any ‘bans’ were mainly restrictions on keeping drive-thrus out of downtown areas and high density areas, not on complete overall bans.

    If you continue your research on those 27 locations, I am quite confident you will discover the same trend. Some partial bans (ie: limiting drive-thrus to specific zones), and lists of requirements to limit drive-thrus in certain areas.

    I just did another quick search online (with the limited time I have available to spend on this issue right now), and can find nothing to indicate this has changed much since I did the previous searches.

    So I guess we’ll just leave it at that, until you or someone else can actually point out locations which have outright bans such as we have here in Sackville. If they exist, especially to the extend that you have suggested, I really would love to find out where they are.


    • ADB says:

      Sharon, The article contained a link to a very comprehensive study:

      There are at least 27 municipalities across the country with partial or complete drive-through bans. These bans range from Nova Scotia to BC and include cities as large as Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary and includes smaller towns like Markham and small municipalities such as Sackville. The study lists the 27 known municipalities, the extent of the bans, the date the by-law was enacted in each jurisdiction, and the reason put forward for the by-law. The list is incomplete, it does not actually include Sackville, and it only goes back to by-laws enacted after 2002 (we can assume there are more than 27 municipal drive-through restriction by-laws and the authors admit as much).

      Sharon, I am not sure what more you could want.

      • Sharon Hicks says:

        ADB – well, first of all, your name would be good to know. 🙂

        That being said, yes, I did look through that report. It is very similar to other reports I have read before. Yes, there are 27 listed, and of those 27, 22 are designated PARTIAL Bans, just as I had mentioned in my earlier comments. That is 81.5% of the total list in that report.

        That means that 5 of those 27 listed are ‘FULL bans’ – which is 18.5% of that list.

        This quote from the article states it very clearly:
        “Extent of bans
        Fast food drive-through service bans were categorized either as a ‘full’ or ‘partial’ ban based on the number of zones affected. A full ban categorized municipalities that banned fast food drive-through services across the entire municipality, while partial bans applied to one or more (but less than all) municipal zones. Our categorization of municipal bylaws revealed that 22 (81.5%) municipalities adopted a partial ban and five (18.5%) municipalities adopted a full ban (Table ​(Table11).”

        Now, let’s take a look at where those 5 listed as full bans are located:
        1. Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, QC
        2. Ladysmith, BC
        3. Mission, BC
        4. Central Saanich, BC
        5. Nelson, BC

        In short, to the best of my knowledge – based on information I’ve been able to glean from a lot of online studies and reports (including this one recommended by ADB and others which were very similar) – it appears there are no other full bans east of BC, other than one in Quebec.

        Where are the Maritime locations with full bans that you referred to?

        When I was researching this issue, I went so far as to track down as many of those partial and full bans as I could find, even reading the contents of each bylaw (those that were available online) to determine the exact wording and application of those bylaws. Again, what I found, for the most part, were guidelines RESTRICTING SPECIFIC LOCATIONS of drive-thrus within a municipality, and LISTS OF REQUIREMENTS they would need to comply with.

        The main pattern which I found (and still see …) was that full bans were more likely to exist in communities which are not near a major highway. In most cases they would not even have a Highway-Commercial Zone. Those localities which ARE near a major highway are more likely to impose a partial ban, which of course limits drive-thrus in downtowns and other areas of heavy density, while allowing them near the highways.

        Sackville is bisected by the Trans Canada Highway.

        Sackville DOES have 2 Highway-Commercial Zones.

        And yet we in Sackville stand alone in having a full ban on ANY further drive-thrus in ANY area of town.

        And we’re still waiting to find out just who ADB really is …

  11. Rima Azar says:

    I just read Wendy Alder’s reply to ADB. What a visionary entrepeneur! Fond regards to you Wendy…I have the utmost respect for a three-generation-business and for a smart owner. I urge our Town coucillors to read her comment and to act accordingly in a timely manner!

  12. Kelly Alder says:

    I believe that someone who wishes to post comments that have views as strongly as ADB?! should have to at least not remain anonymous. I have no problem if ADB thinks he or she has all the answers on how we should expand our business, that is an opinion. Reality is that we know with the research done that a sit down restaurant will not garner us with enough business to pay for such an expansion we would need to have such a establishment. We did look at just adding the eat in take out type suggested. The numbers aren’t there and ultimately Robins would not even let us go ahead with such a venture. We as business owners for the past 6 1/2 years have seen the market change and we need to be able to be on a even playing field with the other end of the town’s highway commercial area. This could have been accomplished by council as a majority of the current council have said they support adding one or two additional drive thrus on our exit. But for some reason they have never started the process, and we already spent our money to try and have this happen and I don’t think we should need to do so again if the current council supported doing so. This is something that they can submit for change and would be a nice thing if they would do so. I would never tell another business owner that they should try this or that unless they have asked my opinion. As far as I can tell ADB is a business owner as they seem to have a lot of answers on how we should add to our location and run it for future success. I may add to whoever this person is that my in laws ran two motels and a family restaurant from the late 70’s until it no longer became affordable to do so on our exit. That was a family business that ran from the 50’s until the early mid 2000’s and I can tell you they would have rather seen it continue as is but there just wasn’t enough traffic or future opportunities coming at the time. Now we have one candidate claiming there should be not further development at all on the exit 506 area. As a business owner of two businesses on that exit I found that remark very short sighted on Sabine Dietz’s part. A basic slap in our faces and well as other current businesses in this area. We work hard and employ a great staff that we receive daily praise about and are proud because of it, and for a candidate to say such a thing is very inconsiderate to say the least. There are many other hard working business people on our end of town as well that should really look long and hard at what type of message such a possible future town councillor is sending with such strong and negative views toward our businesses and any future of our businesses. Sorry for the long rant I just can’t sit by and have someone who refuses to put their name to all the strong comments go unchallenged. And if he or she knows of anyone who can’t fill positions please contact me as I get several resume’s weekly and unfortunately can’t offer more jobs than what I can.

  13. Rima Azar says:

    Dear Brian (Neilson):
    Thank you for joining the conversation :), for your thoughtful words, and most importantly for sharing your vision for Sackville. What a meaningful, practical…and inspiring vision. Please keep it up!

  14. Carol Cooke says:

    As an “intentional newcomer” to Sackville, I’d like to explore new ideas that would help local businesses to thrive while at the same time, also protect our environment. Are these two goals mutually exclusive? I hope not.

    Check this out:

    From Natural Resources Canada (Date Modified: 2017-02-23)

    Does an idling vehicle have an impact on the environment? And, if so, is it better to turn off the engine or continue to idle?

    While reducing unnecessary idling can save a significant amount of fuel and reduce GHG emissions, a running vehicle also releases air quality emissions called criteria air contaminants (CACs). Research that examined the CAC impact of turning the engine off and restarting it versus letting your vehicle idle found that no clear choice emerged as both options produce some CAC emissions. However, the studies clearly showed that there are direct benefits – in the form of fuel savings and reduced GHG emissions – obtained by turning the engine off instead of idling. As such, when considering all of the factors, the studies showed it is better to turn the engine off rather than to let it idle unnecessarily. As a practical guideline, balancing factors such as fuel savings, emissions and component wear, if you’re going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds it’s best to turn the engine off.

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