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First reading for cannabis store rezoning

Posted on February 29, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

Coaldale Council reviewed a rezoning request at their regular Feb. 20 meeting.

Land Use Rezoning Bylaw 885-P-02-24 would amend the Town’s Land Use Bylaw to rezone a portion of the lands legally described as Plan 0913811 Block 2 Lot 72 from Highway Commercial (C-2) to Direct Control (DC) to allow for a Cannabis Retail Store.

“The rezoning would only apply to that portion of the lot shown as ‘Unit 30’ which represents the last remaining bay within the existing building,” said Cam Mills, director of growth and investment for the Town.

The building in question, located at 2507 21 Avenue, has four bays. The other three bays are currently occupied by different restaurants – KFC, Chopped Leaf and BarBurrito. 

According to the town’s LUB, the only land use district that a Cannabis Retail Store can be established in is DC. In addition to this zoning, Mills noted there are a number of “rules” established by the Town that anyone seeking to operate a Cannabis Retail Store in town must abide by based on the province’s base minimum and feedback. However, Mills said that these come with the “caveat” that as the land in question would need to be rezoned to DC, it would ultimately come under Council’s decision-making purview. 

The land complies with setback listed for childcare facilities, schools or provincially owned/operated medical facilities,  but would require a waiver to comply with one requirement, being 100 meters from a liquor S\store, as the property is located approximately 40 meters from a liquor store across 21 Avenue.

When asked, Mills said the Town had “superseded” some of the province’s minimum setback requirements in their bylaw.

Coun. Jason Beekman asked if the liquor store setback was a provincial setback or a Coaldale only rule. While Mills could not determine whether every municipality had a similar rule, it was “not a provincial guideline”.

“The regulation there with respect to liquor stores or the 500 meters from another similar use had to do with regulations pertaining to public health,” said Mills.

When asked if it would prevent something like a provincial medical facility from being located within the setback requirement of 100 meters from the proposed cannabis shop, Mills said it does not.

“It might be something where a discretionary use in another district might, so for example, if childcare facility was a discretionary use, and somebody wanted to put it next door to this use, it might be considered by the decision body, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule where it would need to be applied.”

Council passed a motion to perform first reading of the bylaw in a split 5-2 vote. Coun.(s) Jacen Abrey and Bill Chapman were opposed. A public hearing for the bylaw is expected to take place at a March meeting.

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