City of Chilliwack to create new zoning for marijuana sales

Public hearing for the new zoning bylaw set for Sept. 4

A public hearing is set for Sept. 4 at city hall on the new cannabis retail zoning proposed for Chilliwack.

Creation of a new cannabis retail zone, C9, is being undertaken by City of Chilliwack to regulate and define storefront cannabis retail sales.

The goal is to address potential impacts of storefront cannabis retailers, mitigate exposure of minors, as well as avoid a concentration of storefronts in a commercial area.

“Council has the opportunity to get it right,” Mayor Sharon Gaetz said, addressing the new zoning and licensing rules council will be considering.

Local governments across B.C. are similarly scrambling to draft legislation ahead of legalization this fall.

To prepare for the zoning changes in Chilliwack there was extensive public consultation by city staff, with an online survey and public open house earlier this summer. More than 300 people answered the survey, both online and at the Open House, and the majority of respondents supported the idea of cannabis retail sales in Chilliwack.

A 300-metre buffer is part of the C9 Zone keeping cannabis stores away from elementary and high schools, community centres, sports fields, playgrounds and supportive housing facilities or facilities that serve vulnerable youth.

If the bylaw amendment passes, staff will recommend business licensing changes to address licensing fee and other requirements, such as the need for a security plan, air filtration systems and more.

With the creation of a C9 Zone, potential business owners/operators will need to apply to rezone property as well as submitting a retail licence application with the Province of B.C.

The public hearing is a way for the public to make their views known to council about the creation of a C9 Zone, and for those unable to attend, send a written submission including full name and address, to the Corporate Services Department at 8550 Young Road, Chilliwack, BC V2P 8A4, or by email to clerks@chilliwack.com no later than 4 p.m. on Sept. 4.

The amendment was given first and second reading Tuesday and a Public Hearing was called for September 4, 2018.

More at chilliwack.com/retailcannabis

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