Cannabis pol­icy and by­law to go be­fore coun­cil Mon­day

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page - Mark NIELSEN Cit­i­zen staff

A se­ries of amended by­laws and a re­vised pol­icy setting out how the city will treat cannabis sell­ers and grow­ers will be pre­sented to city coun­cil on Mon­day night.

Pend­ing coun­cil ap­proval, cannabis re­tail­ers will be able to set up shop within se­lect com­mer­cial zones.

The sites will not be “pre-zoned.” Rather, each will re­quire a sep­a­rate re­zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tion and ap­proval from city coun­cil.

The stores are to be no less than 1.6 kilo­me­tres from each other and their hours set at 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., with coun­cil re­serv­ing the power to in­crease or de­crease them on a case-by-case ba­sis. Both re­tail­ers and grow­ers will also pay the city $5,000 per year for a busi­ness li­cence, which staff said is con­sis­tent with the rates charged by other B.C. mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties for th­ese types of busi­nesses.

As per the ex­ist­ing by­law gov­ern­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana grow op­er­a­tions, prop­er­ties to be used for cannabis pro­duc­tion will be at least 15 hectares in size and have at min­i­mum 150-me­tre set­back from any parks and schools. As well, there must be a 30-me­tre set­back from the prop­erty line for the fa­cil­ity, ris­ing to 60 me­tres if there is no screened buf­fer.

As well, the term “cannabis” will re­place all pre­vi­ous ref­er­ences to “mar­i­juana” in the city’s ex­ist­ing by­laws and the prod­uct has been es­sen­tially folded into the city’s ex­ist­ing liquor li­cens­ing pol­icy.

The rel­e­vant items will be up for first and sec­ond read­ing.

Also on the agenda:

• Coun. Brian Skakun will seek coun­cil’s sup­port for a pro­posal to heighten the bat­tle against il­le­gal garbage dump­ing.

Specif­i­cally, he has put for­ward a mo­tion to direct ad­min­is­tra­tion to work with the Fraser-Fort George Re­gional District to de­velop a strat­egy to re­duce the prac­tice.

“Il­le­gal dump­ing has neg­a­tive ef­fects on nat­u­ral ar­eas and to the over­all clean­li­ness of our com­mu­nity. There have been re­ports of il­le­gal dump­ing within the City of Prince George specif­i­cally in ar­eas sur­round­ing Foothills and Tyner boule­vards,” Skakun says in a re­port in­cluded on the meet­ing agenda.

The FFGRD “faces the same chal­lenges,” Skakun con­tin­ues. Along with the re­gional district, he sug­gested key stake­hold­ers such as the Spruce City Wildlife As­so­ci­a­tion be in­cluded in the process.

Tourism Prince George is ask­ing coun­cil mem­bers to de­cide whether a tax orig­i­nally in­tended to pay for pro­mot­ing the city to tourists will also be ap­plied to af­ford­able hous­ing projects.

Vis­i­tors to the city cur­rently pay a three­per-cent levy on the cost of a ho­tel or mo­tel room and that levy raises about $1.1 mil­lion a year for Tourism Prince George.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has added af­ford­able hous­ing as a per­mis­si­ble use of the funds raised to help ad­dress local hous­ing needs and en­sure tourism work­ers can find hous­ing.

There are also pro­vi­sos: rev­enues from online-based services such as AirBnB can be used for af­ford­able hous­ing, but spend­ing of those raised through tra­di­tional ac­com­mo­da­tion venues re­main sub­ject to ap­proval of 51 per cent of the city’s ho­tels and mo­tels.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.