Upgrades to Keremeos bylaws, if passed, will mean only one cannabis retail store will operate within village limits.
A zoning bylaw amendment, brought forward at a meeting earlier this month, outlines the direction the village is headed with pending cannabis legalization.
“We’ve been checking on things and we’re really falling in line with what others are doing and what is available for us to legislate,” Mayor Manfred Bauer told the Keremeos Review.
Amendments include adding the definition cannabis dispensary to bylaws; and permitting cannabis dispensary as a principal use only in General Commercial (C1) Zone.
There was also a condition of use added to the bylaw requiring a minimum separation of 1,000 metres between two cannabis dispensaries.
“It is staff’s understanding that the proposed regulation of the retail sales of cannabis through the zoning bylaw is within Council’s authority as is the ability to establish minimum distances between retail operations. The proposed amendments respond to the direction provided by Council on May 7, 2018, and will result in the limitation of no more than one (1) cannabis retail outlet within the Village,” a staff report on the amendments stated.
As part of the process the village received comments from several agencies including the village CAO, CFO, Public Works Department and Building Inspector, Keremeos and District Volunteer Fire Department, Keremeos Irrigation District and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Comments mainly stated that interests would not be impacted with few exceptions including the Public Works foreman asking that no product or byproduct of cannabis be discharged into the sewer system, and the irrigation district stating that additional charges might apply with increased water usage.
Also presented at the meeting was amendments to the Business Regulation Bylaw.
The amendments, if passed, would allow the village to refuse to grant a licence if it is believed that the business would negatively impact health, safety or was not in the best interest of the public; would allow for conditions on the business licence to ensure the health, safety and best public interest to the village, and provide the ability to levy daily fines of $250 for each day business regulation offences continue.
Conditions on a business licence given to a cannabis retail store might include setting it back a certain amount metres from a public park, or library or other amenity.
The bylaw changes were read a first and second time at the July 3 meeting. A public meeting regarding the changes will be held July 16 at the next regular council meeting. During that public hearing, which starts at 4:30 p.m. in council chambers, the public will have a chance to provide their comments on the changes related to cannabis retail sales and the Business Regulation Bylaw.