West Kelowna council says no to grow-op

West Kelowna council says no to grow-op

Residents also opposed the proposed location of the project

The new industrial complex at 2648 Kyle Road won’t be getting a cannabis production plant.

Council voted against giving a third reading for a zoning bylaw amendment for the facility, and rescinded the first and second readings of that bylaw amendment.

Residents have also voiced their opposition in two rounds of public hearings, citing the potential for odour and noise, and adverse health impacts. Others cited security and loss of property value.

Three buildings in the complex were applying to become production plants, with two in compliance with city bylaws. The bylaw amendment, if it was approved, would’ve made the third building comply with bylaws by allowing a 40-metre encroachment into a 150-metre buffer required between the operation and a residential area.

Coun. Doug Findlater said West Kelowna still has the potential to get two plants despite council’s denial of the bylaw amendment.

“Two of the three buildings are compliant with the bylaw. We’re going to get (a plant) anyway. I cannot support (the third building) because it’s an exception to the bylaw. Maybe if they set up in those two buildings and it goes without incident and nobody even knows it’s there and they come back at a future time, I might consider that amendment but I can’t at this point,” he said.

Coun. Jayson Zilkie said he didn’t support amending the bylaw as it could set a precedent and council could see more applications for site-specific amendments, which would only eat up staff’s time.

Coun. Jason Friesen said times and technology have changed and council shouldn’t hesitate to support site-specific amendments.

“I can’t really see any reason to deny the applicant the opportunity to run a more successful business,” he said.

“If he believes that there are going to be concerns between his tenants and arguments between his tenants, he wouldn’t be asking (for the bylaw amendment).”

He added council should look at the bylaw and spend some time reworking it to reflect changes now that cannabis can be produced legally and not just for medicinal purposes.

Staff have been directed to close the file.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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City of West Kelowna