January 16, 2018 12:37 am

Stanley Park Brewing plans restaurant just steps from a great blue heron habitat

Stanley Park's new brew pub is already under construction, but that's not stopping some opponents from trying to shut it down. Linda Aylesworth reports.

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For 17 years, great blue herons have made a home in a section of treetops in Stanley Park at the edge of Vancouver’s West End.

There, they have built nests, and grown a colony that is now recognized as one of the largest in Western Canada.

But the birds are set to have a new neighbour in a building that once housed the Fish House restaurant, just feet away. And some are concerned at how the new tenant could affect the at-risk herons.

Coverage of Stanley Park on Globalnews.ca:

Stanley Park Brewing is looking to set up a restaurant in a building located at 8901 Stanley Park Drive, which used to be the Fish House before it closed down in 2015.

Biology instructor Maria Morlin, who lives in a condo near the heron habitat, is concerned that the new tenants could cause the herons distress.

“The concern with a pub is that it will add another two to three hours of people traffic and no pubs are quiet,” she told Global News.

Brian Kuhn, the general manager of Stanley Park Brewing, insists that the new space will be a restaurant, not a pub.

“We are a restaurant first, with a small craft brewery where we will produce limited runs of beer to service the restaurant,” he said.

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Kuhn said Stanley Park Brewing will station staff outside the restaurant to watch the behaviour of departing guests.

“We’ll participate in any way necessary to protect the wildlife in the area around the building,” he said.

One party that seems less concerned about the new restaurant?

The Stanley Park Ecology Society, which monitors wildlife in the park.

“At this point, we don’t have a reason to have excess concern about this stakeholder coming in and picking up on a similar basis to the previous tenant,” said executive director Patricia Thomson.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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