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