Chilliwack council said no to the idea of a cannabis retail store in the Promontory Hillside Plaza — before the rezoning application could even get to the public hearing stage.
Council members discussed the rezoning proposal to put a pot store on Teskey Way, that would take the property from local commercial (C2) to cannabis retail (C9), but there was little appetite around the table for approval.
In the end council voted unanimously to defeat it at first reading.
Coun. Bud Mercer led the charge, suggesting that having drugs for sale, on a “hugely busy street corner” of Promontory, near the only convenience story where kids go was “wrong” and that he didn’t “support it whatsoever.”
Coun. Sue Knott added she had similar concerns, particularly because of the number of children in the area.
The application did meet the buffer zone requirements in terms of distance from school and parks, however, but sending it forward to public hearing would send the wrong message about where is an appropriate location, she said.
Coun. Harv Westeringh said he’d received lots of emails from Promontory residents concerned about cannabis retail going in an area frequented by so many kids, so “it may not be the best spot.”
Coun. Chris Kloot pointed out it was “unusual” to have the discussion they were having, before first reading was approved, and before the rezoning application moved on to the public hearing stage, but in the end, he agreed with his fellow councillors, and said he “will support them in not to supporting” the rezoning to move forward.
The bylaw to rezone a portion of property located at 5615 Teskey Way from a C2 (Local Commercial) Zone to a C9 (Cannabis Retail) Zone was defeated at first reading.
By contrast, a similar application for a cannabis retail rezoning at the SureStay Hotel by Best Western location on Industrial Way was approved recently by council.