Esquimalt council to look at new cannabis bylaw

Esquimalt council to look at new cannabis bylaw

May 7 meeting also addresses tax increase, fiber optics infrastructure

Esquimalt council will sit down to iron out the details of its zoning bylaw to regulate cannabis, when it meets in council chambers, May 7.

Upon recommendation from staff, council will choose whether to detail definitions of; cannabis, cannabis plant, medical marijuana production facility and store, cannabis sales. As well, definitions of “business and professional offices” and “store, retail” are being considered for amendment.

RELATED: Market for cannabis edibles remains strong, despite ban

Staff recommends prohibiting the retail sale of non-medical cannabis in all zones and on all public roadways unless the location is specifically zoned. It also recommends prohibiting cannabis lounges and similar facilities in all zones unless the location is specifically rezoned for such use.

To that end, it has also suggested that both the Gorge Vale Golf Club and the English Inn add the word “liquor” before the word “lounge” in reference to their establishments.

Provisions are also recommended around the growing and production of marijuana, cannabis and similar plants, products or derivatives on ALR land, or land specifically rezoned for a Health Canada licensed facility.

Council will also look at approving a public hearing before putting the bylaw into effect.

RELATED: North Saanich to debate cannabis bylaw and new business fee

Also on the agenda is a public hearing is scheduled for 520 Constance Ave. where plans to build a townhouse have required changes in both the land use designation and zoning.

The Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rates Bylaw will also be given first, second and third readings after lengthy discussions over previous meetings about what kind of tax increase residents and business owners in the Township can expect.

Council is also considering a request to staff to explore the possibility of fiber optic infrastructure in Esquimalt, to increase its commercial and business sectors.

In a notice of motion put forward by Mayor Desjardins, she said the concept was first raised in 2014. Since then, North Saanich, Oak Bay, Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin and Sooke have all made fiber optic communication available in their municipalities.

Esquimalt council meets tomorrow, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Municipal Hall.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com