Buffer zones between schools, cannabis stores being proposed
“Our concern is about the potential of a cannabis retail store being permitted to operate in close vicinity to The Center, which would directly counter the ability of The Center to achieve its above-stated goals,” he said. “Further, passing a bylaw that would allow the juxtaposition of a cannabis retail store next to a community youth support centre would give the appearance of a lack of support by the City to such a centre, regardless of the lack of truth to same.”
The two organizations included supporting material with their submission to the public hearing. Snyder highlighted some options that have been considered by other municipalities in allowing the operation of cannabis retail stores.
“We propose that any areas zoned to allow the operation of cannabis retail stores to operate should include restrictions to provide a buffer zone between such stores and the places that our children and our youth gather,” he said.
He referred to a number of alternatives to achieve this goal. One would be to include minimum separation distances between a cannabis store and any school, public library, youth or child-care facility, park or recreation centre.
“In our research we found that other municipalities typically imposed restrictions on cannabis stores from operation within 100 to 300 metres from such facilities,” he said.
Another option would be to prohibit any cannabis retail store from operating on the same block as a youth or child- care facility or on blocks directly adjacent to such facilities.
Alternatively the zoning region can be amended to exclude the 0 to 100 block of 1st Avenue NE, where The Centre is located, as a location for operating a cannabis retail store.
“Although this is not central to our interest, it may be prudent consideration for the City to impose restrictions on the distance required between cannabis retail stores and liquor retail stores so as to mitigate the potential negative effects of having these types of retail outlets operating in close vicinity,” he said.
The submission by the two organizations noted that the SLGA guide for Saskatchewan's cannabis retail framework gives municipalities the right to place restrictions on the location of cannabis retail shops.
“We strongly encourage the City to enact such measures and policies to reflect the value our community places on the protection of our youth, and to allow and continue to aid The Center in achieving our shared goals of fostering and developing the success of our youth,” Snyder said.
The submission at the public hearing will be considered by councillors when they review the proposed amendments of the zoning bylaws. The second and third ( final) reading of the bylaw amendments is scheduled to take place at the Sept. 10 council meeting.