THE Capilano Rugby Football Club is applying to the province for a permanent liquor licence to replace the jumbled, ad-hoc system of temporary licences the club currently uses for its bar and special events.
The application went to the District of West Vancouver council Feb. 4.
A public process now follows in which residents can offer input to be considered by the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch when deciding whether to grant the licence.
The club has been trying to get a liquor primary licence for years, but it was not until it completed more than $900,000 in renovations at its Klahanie Park clubhouse that the province was prepared to look at the application, said Ken Robinson, the rugby club president.
"Because we've finished the place now, we are having more events, such as the odd wedding reception and birthdays and there is a limitation on the number of special occasion licences that you're allowed to get," he said.
"So it would be a lot simpler for us and cheaper and less hassle for everybody if we were just licensed and didn't have to go through this process every time we open the bar."
Beyond serving as a place for club members to nurse their scrum wounds, the club also uses its bar to host a number of community fundraisers.
"In order to be able to host some of these community events - cancer fundraisers, food bank drives, the Christmas gift drive - we have to apply for a licence if we're serving," he said.
"I hope the community will realize that this is a community facility available to all, including our mini-program and that we're hoping we'll get support."
Neighbours of the club plan to be involved in the process, but so far it looks pretty innocuous, according to one of the local neighbourhood associations.
"In years past, there had been a lot of opposition from one person to the club but we've gone in and made connections with them as neighbourhood community partners," said Doug Curran, a member of the executive on the Capilano Gateway Association.
Association members are also impressed with the club's charity work and don't anticipate that making the licence permanent is going to result in any detriment to the neighbourhood, Curran added.
"Within reason, we were prepared to support their application.
"The idea that they would have to be going down and applying every time they wanted to open their bars is ridiculous," he said.
"Let's be reasonable here, right?"
The property is owned by the District of West Vancouver and leased to the Capilano Rugby and Football Club.