A new cannabis production facility could be coming to ts’ukw’um (Wilson Creek).
Sechelt’s Advisory Planning Commission recently supported a variance proposal to allow for the creation of a cannabis production facility. The municipality’s Zoning Bylaw requires a minimum lot area of 3,000 square metres for a cannabis production facility – the development variance permit application is asking for a reduction to 1,008 square metres.
The production facility is proposed for 4352 Aqua Road, off Field Road in the ts’ukw’um area. The site is already designated as Light Industrial One(I1), which allows for cannabis production.
Sechelt senior development planner Sven Koberwitz explained that the rationale behind this large minimum required area was to ensure that the Coast’s industrial areas wouldn't get inundated with cannabis production facilities when the federal government legalized cannabis in 2018.
Koberwitz added that since legalization, the district hasn’t been inundated with applications, and therefore they feel prepared to support this smaller production.
The report submitted by staff also stated that the lot size minimum is in place to mitigate potential impacts to adjacent properties, especially relating to odour.
The applicants’ lot is vacant and in the past was the site of a personal medical cannabis facility.
The commission asked how the district ensures that odour control is enforced and monitored.
Koberwitz explained that it is a “complaint-driven process,” and that odour is difficult to quantify.
“It would be looked into to make sure that any required conditions of the variance and any required equipment that's needed to be installed for odour control is operating as it's supposed to,” he said.
The APC agenda included an email from the applicant and landlord, Russel Andrews, that said, “We currently do not see any impact to our neighbors or adjacent properties. As all activities will be inside and best practices would be in place for air filtration.”
Andrews attended the meeting and said that if approved the facility could potentially be up and running in under a year.
The commission asked if the district will be in touch with adjacent property owners.
Koberwitz responded that once there is a confirmed date that the application will be considered by Sechelt council, the applicants will be notified to inform all property owners within 100 metres.
APC chair Sharif Senbel said, “I think it's a suitable location and I also think that the requirements that are laid out by the [federal government] and by the district address the issues.”
The commission unanimously moved to support the application as presented.
The next step will be for the application to be presented to Sechelt council for consideration.
Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.
Jordan Copp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Coast Reporter