By­law amend­ment will re­quire cannabis re­tail lo­ca­tions to have more in­put be­fore ap­proval

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The City of Swift Cur­rent will be uti­liz­ing dis­cre­tionary use pro­vi­sions to reg­u­late the lo­ca­tion of re­tail cannabis lo­ca­tions in Swift Cur­rent’s newly zoned Cen­tral Down­town Dis­trict.

As their Septem­ber 10 City Coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil gave no­tice of mo­tion to make amend­ments to their down­town zon­ing in or­der to add dis­cre­tionary use pro­vi­sions be­fore fi­nal­iz­ing a lo­ca­tion of a re­tail cannabis busi­ness. Coun­cil also pro­posed amend­ments to al­low cannabis pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions as land uses in in­dus­trial dis­tricts.

“Ba­si­cally what this tool does is al­low Coun­cil to have dis­cre­tion over the al­lowance of that par­tic­u­lar use, and any other uses listed un­der dis­cre­tionary uses in the Zon­ing By­law. Ul­ti­mately, it looked like cannabis re­tail was sim­i­lar in many ways to some of the other uses that we saw listed as dis­cre­tionary in the down­town, such as bars and lounges,” ex­plained Michael Ruus, Gen­eral Man­ager, Plan­ning and De­velop for the City of Swift Cur­rent.

City ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­posed th­ese amend­ments fol­low­ing feed­back from an Au­gust 27 pub­lic hear­ing re­gard­ing the City of Swift Cur­rent’s rec­om­men­da­tions for down­town zon­ing.

“Af­ter the pub­lic hear­ing was held, and we re­ceived the com­ments from the par­ties, we re­viewed them in­ter­nally just to try and get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what their con­cerns were. And then we reached out to them to have a quick dis­cus­sion on what would be a rea­son­able com­pro­mise so that we can - on one hand wel­come new busi­nesses that are want­ing to in­vest into the com­mu­nity and bring new cus­tomers in from the re­gion, while also pro­tect­ing th­ese group’s in­vest­ment in The Cen­ter down­town.”

As a dis­cre­tionary use, all prop­erty own­ers with 75 me­tres of the pro­posed lo­ca­tion would re­ceive writ­ten no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the project, and a pub­lic hear­ing will be re­quired to con­sider the de­vel­op­ment, fol­lowed by City Coun­cil ap­proval of the dis­cre­tionary use.

“I think this is not only a good com­pro­mise, but ac­tu­ally prob­a­bly just a good end re­sult for Coun­cil to have a lit­tle bit more con­trol over this is­sue. This is a new one for us, and for coun­cil’s not just in Saskatchewan but all across Canada,” Deputy Mayor Ryan Plewis said dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing.

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