By Councillor Wayne Rothe
It’s finally over. Monday, June 11 city council approved the land-use amendment that allows cannabis sales to commence when the substance is legaizedl.
It’s been a grind. Our staff have been working on this for months. I don’t want to know how many hours that Debra Irving, director of planning and development, has put into this file; actually, I do but I’m afraid to ask and I don’t know if those hours have even been tracked.
Council has also given this a lot of time, including one very long public hearing during a near record-setting council meeting, and three bylaw readings. It was a month ago that council went to 12:24 a.m. listening to submissions during the public hearing and discussing, particularly, options for setbacks.
Spruce Grove will now start to accept and review applications starting July 18. There will be no lottery to choose who will be approved to open stores. We feel that our first-come, first-serve process is most fair to all. Applicants will need to show up at the planning department with properly completed paperwork in hand. Rules will be published this week. Contact Planning if you need help.
Here are some of the highlights of the setbacks that council has approved. There must be a minimum of 100 metres between cannabis stores, to an indoor recreation establishment and to a public library. There must be at least 25 metres between a cannabis store and any childcare facility and a residential district. We’re permitting sales in the M1 general industrial district. Sales will be restricted in the C1 city-centre district between Queen and King streets for sites with frontages on McLeod Avenue and Main Street. We’ve chosen not to regulate opening hours so those will be the same as liquor sales.
There are certain requirements that must be satisfied before an application can be approved so any potential store owners should talk with Planning in order to make sure that you’ve satisfied those requirements. These setbacks may be confusing to some so please contact Planning for any clarification required.