A rezoning application for a pot store on Young Road was denied by council on June 4. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

A rezoning application for a pot store on Young Road was denied by council on June 4. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

UPDATE: Pot store application in Chilliwack goes up in smoke

Councillor says he’s never received so many threats since calling for moratorium on cannabis retail

City council made it clear it has no appetite for cannabis retail applications that come with a side of variances.

A rezoning application for a pot store on Young Road was denied by council on June 4 before it could go to the public hearing stage.

Coun. Jason Lum asked staff if a moratorium could be placed on C9 cannabis retail applications, and for licensed producers (LPs) of cannabis as well.

“I don’t know why we moved ahead on any of these,” Lum said, at the meeting.

There’s no incentive for local governments like City of Chilliwack to continue approving retail pot stores, Coun. Lum argued, doing the work to regulate retail and licensing, without provincial clarity on the tax split with local governments.

“We are incurring costs right now as a city, but there are still so many unknowns,” he said.

READ MORE: First store approved

Officials with Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) have said local governments are seeking 40 per cent of the tax revenue, which totals about $68 million flowing to the province over three years. UBCM has also asked its members to keep track of what they’ve spent on cannabis-related rezonings, licensing, advertising, and bylaws.

After the meeting Coun. Lum told The Progress that he has never received more threatening emails in all his years on council, since advocating a moratorium be explored for cannabis retail and LPs.

“It doesn’t surprise me but it’s misplaced,” Lum said about the pushback from people who want more cannabis stores. “Right now we are trying to negotiate the best deal for the taxpayers of Chilliwack.”

There are nine store applications still in the queue, and three of those require variances.

One has been approved so far, for Central Cannabis on Industrial Way inside the SureStay Hotel by Best Western.

Another that sought to open a cannabis store on Promontory was denied.

CAO Peter Monteith said at the meeting last week he wasn’t sure if a moratorium would even be possible at this point, given that they already rezoned one property for the first cannabis retail store under the new C9 zoning regulations.

“We did have the option not to have retail,” Monteith reminded council since local governments could choose to prohibit cannabis retail operations in its borders.

Surrey and Richmond for example are not allowing cannabis retail.

Coun. Chris Kloot had a message for future applicants hoping to open a cannabis store in Chilliwack:

“I think we made it clear when we had specific requirements for the C9 zone, and at this point I’m not comfortable to entertain any variances,” Kloot said.

The applicant had been seeking to rezone a portion of the property at Young and Chilliwack Central to the C9 cannabis retail zone from commercial-industrial zoning. A development variance application was also filed.

The location’s proximity to playgrounds and a future supportive housing facility did not meet the 300-metre buffer zone requirement, so a development variance permit (DVP) application had to be submitted, to run concurrently with the rezoning, to reduce the minimum buffer distance within the proposed C9 Zone from 300m to 279m from The Education Centre, from 300m to 239m from Nowell Park, from 300m to 282m from Greenacres Square, and from 300m to 145m from a supportive housing facility.

But that idea was not going to fly.

“I would strongly suggest to potential applicants to work within the parameters that we have created here at the city to accommodate that C9 zoning,” said Kloot, referring to the buffer zone, among other conditions.

Staff was not in support of the Young Road application, according to the report:

“As detailed within the Staff Report, Staff are not supportive of the proposed change in land use given the necessary variances to facilitate the proposal and recommend that Council deny the Bylaw and issuance of Development Variance Permit DVP01028 with respect to property located at Unit A-8810 Young Road.”

The proposed location was close to two playgrounds (Nowell Park and Greenacres Square) and one school (The Education Centre). It is also about 145m away from a future supportive housing facility (located at 45890 Trethewey Avenue).

“As these sites are gathering spaces for children and youth, including vulnerable people. Staff consider this an inappropriate location for a cannabis retail store.”

READ MORE: Store on Promontory denied


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

A protester holds a sign on Yale Road near Hodgins Avenue during the Fraser Valley Freedom Rally on Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
OPINION: Freedom, yes, but don’t forget about responsibility

‘Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being’

A man holds a child while speaking with RCMP following an erratic driving incident on Highway 1 in Chilliwack on Friday, April 16, 2021. The child and a woman (but not this man) were in this Jeep Grand Cherokee which hit a barrier and a parked car on Highway 1 and continued driving. The vehicle finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

An undated picture of the Hope Station House. (Photo/Save The Hope Station House)
Hope council must consider all options for Station House: B.C. Ombudsperson

Investigation ‘revealed flaws in District’s process,’ statement said

April 16, 2021 is the 130th anniversary of the first edition of The Chilliwack Progress, the oldest community newspaper in British Columbia. The first four-page Progress was printed on April 16, 1891.
PHOTO GALLERY: Today is the 130th anniversary of The Chilliwack Progress

British Columbia’s oldest community newspaper’s first edition was April 16, 1891

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read