Amendments made to zoning bylaw to limit medical marijuana production facilities

District of Sooke wants to restrict areas for MMP facilities

Sooke needn’t worry about a huge rush of applications for medical marijuana facilities in the district, but just in case, bylaws are being amended.

At District of Sooke council on March 10, council gave second reading to zoning amendment Bylaw 582. The amendments were made because staff became aware of properties in the district which have a medical marijuana facilities listed as principal permitted uses. Some of these properties are in settled areas such as Whiffin Spit Road and Otter Point Road.

Initially zoning would have allowed medical marijuana production facilities (MMP) in RU1 to 5 zones as well as industrial zones. Changes would not allow MMP facilities in RU5 zones.

The Agricultural Land Commission states they do not consider marijuana to be much different agriculturally speaking, than any other crop. And see no problem with it within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The changes to Bylaw 582 would amend the definition of horticulture to exclude MMP facilities, provide a definition for MMP and would add MMP facilities as a principal permitted use to industrial zones. MMP facilities licenced by the federal government will be allowed in an industrial zone or on ALR land in a rural zone. Any zoning the district puts in place can be trumped by the ALC, said planner Gerard LeBlanc.

Acting Mayor Kerrie Reay stated she was concerned council would be opening the door to MMP facilities in places you really wouldn’t want them to be.

Concerns were raised in the fire department referral as to hazardous materials, access in the face of heavy security at facilities and need for water in case of fire.

Councillor Herb Haldane said marijuana grow operations are already in the neighbourhood.

“These aren’t meth labs, it’s marijuana and they are using fertilizers same as for tomatoes,” said Haldane. “They’re not cooking things up in the bathtub. There’s a demand for this because of health issues, cancer issues.”

Currently the federal government has licenced only seven MMP facilities across  the country. Haldane said he didn’t see MMP facilities as being a big issue here.

“We’re going to have to start being more liberal and open-minded,” said Haldane.

A public hearing will be scheduled for Bylaw 582 where residents can have their questions answered.

There is a MMP facility being proposed in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, specifically in the industrial park off Otter Point Road.

Council was asked to respond as a referral agency and it was agreed the district’s interests are not affected by proposed  zoning bylaws in the Juan de Fuca EA.

Councillor Rick Kasper stated he fully supports the actions they take in their jurisdiction. Council agreed.

 

Just Posted

Mary Winspear offers out-of-this-world evening with Chris Hadfield

Tickets on sale March 22 for Colonel Chris Hadfield visit May 7

Metchosin driver striking a deer heralds a need for caution

Vehicle incident likely not the last of its kind in Greater Victoria

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Most Read