After a lengthy and passionate public discussion, a Quinte West jerk chicken shop has had its operations permit approved for another year, by a 10-3 recorded vote, but with some conditions.
Quinte West’s corporate finance committee had recommended JERKebago’s permit not be renewed for a second year, after neighbours in Carrying Place complained about the smell, the smoke and the state of the site, near the Sprenkel’s store.
But owner Josh Blake was able to sway the motion back into his favour by agreeing to address the concerns at hand.
Blake has agreed to cook his chicken off site, to cut down on the smell and smoke and to grill it to order on a bar-b-q sized grill, while also agreeing to address the bathroom issue on the property by either splitting the cost of a port-o-potty with the store, or getting one himself.
He also noted that issues with grey water from the business are unfounded as collection containers are emptied every two weeks, or as soon as they get full and they are complying with all health unit guidelines.
He says they have lots of work to do, to get open as soon as they can and in time for the holiday long weekend this month, but strong support for the business will help make the process easier.
Councillors Kuntze, Kuypers and McCue had voted against the motion saying it was important to represent neighbouring property owners, who were concerned about the overpowering smell, residue on their windows and the potential for animals to wander into their yards.
Many of the supporters countered that denying the permit may have discouraged small businesses from setting up shop in Quinte West, thinking they wouldn’t be supported and some noted the fact that of the 19 people who had complained about the business, only a handful were present.
Blake’s wife Saiqa Sheikh says she and her husband are pleased that a compromise was able to be reached.
A time frame to make the improvements wasn’t established, but it was made clear that if complaints about the business continued through this summer, the permit wouldn’t be renewed again.