Black Press File Photo

Lacombe County Land Use Bylaw amended to accommodate cannabis legalization

Bylaw allows for production facilities and retail of cannabis

Lacombe County’s Land Use Bylaw (LUB) was amended to accommodate cannabis legalization at the October 25, 2018 Lacombe County Council meeting.

Before these changes were drafted, staff held two public meetings, in conjunction with Alberta Health Services, as part of the County’s Cannabis in Your Community public engagement strategy.

The feedback from these meetings and a public survey were used to gather comments and concerns regarding cannabis legalization and its impacts on Lacombe County.

“Our goal from the start was to ensure the changes to the bylaw took into account the many perspectives held by our ratepayers,” said Reeve Paula Law. “Council felt that this updated Land Use Bylaw encompasses the concerns and opportunities felt by Lacombe County ratepayers, while providing a strong foundation that can be built on for this emerging industry.”

The two areas that the LUB looked at as a result of cannabis legalization were cannabis production facilities and cannabis retail.

  • Cannabis Production Facilities: Identified as a discretionary use in the Agricultural ‘A’ District, the Business Industrial ‘I-BI’ District, and the Hamlet Industrial ‘I-H’ District.
  • Cannabis Retail: Identified as a discretionary use in the Hamlet Commercial ‘C-H’ District, Highway Commercial ‘C-HC’ District, General Commercial ‘C-GC’ District, and Recreational ‘P-R’ District.

Public feedback indicated that cannabis retail stores should be treated the same as liquor stores.

“The public was clear that they be informed of any development permit applications for proposed cannabis facilities, which we have built into the amended Land Use Bylaw,” said Manager of Planning Services, Dale Freitag. “We made sure to include feedback on what the community deemed as appropriate locations for retail stores, which helped determine the districts appropriate for cannabis retail.”

Clarification on Setbacks

After hearing from residents during the October 11, 2018 Council meeting, Council voted to delay second and third reading on the Land Use Bylaw (LUB), which would set out the guidelines for production facilities and retail locations.

Concerns were brought forward at the public hearing regarding the proposed setbacks in the Agricultural Districts for cannabis production facilities, which was originally proposed to be 100 metres from all property boundaries.

“The purpose of setbacks is to prevent nuisance conflicts, protect existing residential and agricultural operations, and safeguard human health,” said Freitag. “However, large setbacks can also cause siting issues, and the County recognized that it needed to strike a balance that reduces potential conflict between uses, while still being reasonable and economical.”

To address these concerns, Council approved the amendment to make setback requirements for cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural District at 25 feet from a property boundary in alignment with the current setbacks for buildings.

This distance though is at the discretion of the Development Authority, who may impose a greater setback from the property boundary as a condition of development approval for a cannabis production facility if they feel it is necessary to protect against any adverse impacts or nuisance to neighbouring properties.

“The input we received from the public during the meetings, through the survey, and at the public hearing was crucial in the development of these changes,” said Reeve Law. “At the end of the day, Council’s responsibility is balancing the concerns of the public with the reality of running a business, and feel that we accomplished that with these amendments to the Land Use Bylaw.”

For more details on Cannabis Legalization in Lacombe County, please visit Lacombe County’s website.

Submitted by Lacombe County

Just Posted

City of Lacombe installs new skating rink at LMC

Lacombe residents can now skate among the LMC Christmas lights

Cops, Pops and Pizza in Lacombe raises $1,700 for Special Olympics Alberta

Annual event part of national Law Enforcement Torch Run campaign

Blackfalds RCMP officer’s firearm discharged in struggle

Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP assist after police vehicle stolen

Lacombe Ram Zach Schwab wins City Offensive Player of the Year

Wide receiver hoping to play football at the next level

WATCH: CP Holiday Train supports Lacombe Food Bank

Madeline Merlo and JUNO Award nominee Scott Helman both performed

AHS: Albertans reminded to be food safe this holiday season

Important to wash your hands often and prepare foods properly to reduce risk of food-borne illness

Two adults, two youths from Maskwacis charged in ATV, gun theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Break, Enter & Theft and Weapons Offences - Arrests

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

‘He was good for the West:’ Sadness, surprise in Saskatchewan over Scheer

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both thanked Andrew Scheer

Johnson claims Brexit mandate with new conservative majority

Conservative Party wins 365 seats in the House of Commons

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Alberta to change drug coverage for 26,000 patients, expects to save up to $380M

Patients being treated with biologics on government-sponsored drug plans must switch to biosimilars

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Most Read