June 23, 2017 5:00 pm
Updated: June 24, 2017 12:15 am

City staff delay Granville Entertainment District pilot project start date

Fri, Jun 23: The City of Vancouver is pressing pause on a plan to limit re-entry one hour before closing along the Granville Entertainment District after several businesses lashed out.

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Earlier this month, the City of Vancouver considered making major changes to the last entry policy in the Granville Entertainment District (GED).

But now, the city has decided to extend the start date for the ‘late entry’ pilot project in an effort to extend consultation and collaboration with bars and clubs in the district.

The policy was set to begin on July 1 and would prohibit entry to bars and clubs along Granville Street after at 2 a.m. but would remain open until 3 a.m. to guests already inside.

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“Our reaction to it was shock, then disappointment because the City had not consulted businesses about the implications [of the policy],” said Jeff Guignard, executive director of the BC Alliance of Beverage Licensees.

“The last hour of the night is a big portion of our business, not because people who are already there are having more to drink, but people who are in the industry would get off work at 12:30 and [head to a bar for the last hour with friends].”

WATCH: City staff propose changes to Vancouver’s liquor policies

“City staff will delay the pilot start date from July 1 in order to first convene the Council-sanctioned working group to jointly develop an implementation plan and establish metrics by which the pilot will be evaluated,” said corporate communications representative Jag Sandhu in a statement.

“The working group will confirm a pilot start date, which the City expects will be no more than an additional three months (i.e. no later than October).”

The ‘late entry’ project comes as a response to increasing reports of violence in the GED.

On Saturday, 29 year-old Samantha Doolan was charged with manslaughter after allegedly attacking Lauren McLellan outside Caprice nightclub last August.

WATCH: Woman accused of beating woman to death on Granville Street due in court

Citizen groups and residents believe further consultation is necessary.

“They need to target the people that are causing the trouble a bit more specifically, rather than create rules that apply to people that don’t deserve it,” said a GED resident.

Operations will continue as usual on July 1 and the new pilot project launch date has yet to be determined.

“The City expects to convene the working group in approximately two weeks,” said Sandhu.

-With files from Paula Baker and Amy Judd

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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