Public meeting to be held for potential cannabis dispensary in Barriere

During the last District of Barriere council meeting (Sept. 3) one of the items on the agenda was the Zoning ByLaw No. 111, Amendment Bylaw No. 171., the rezoning of a permit for site-specific use of cannabis sales at 4639 Barriere Town Rd.

For a little background, the following is from a report put together for council by Colleen Hannigan, CAO.

The subject property includes the current locations of Sweetnams, BC Liquor Store, and Armour Mountain Office Services, located at 4639 Barriere Town Road. The property is currently zoned C1 – Downtown Core Commercial.

Applicants are to make an application for a provincial license to start a retail outlet for non-medical cannabis sales that would replace one of the current storefronts.

Cannabis retail sales are only permitted in Barriere subject to a successful site-specific zoning amendment and a provincial licence. The district has received two applications. The first application at the Barriere Motor Inn property has not been finalized by the applicant and remains in draft form.

When the meeting got to this item, Mayor Ward Stamer stated to the public in attendance, that council would not be taking questions or comments during the meeting.

Stamer went on to explain that the order that things happen is that council will first set a date for a public hearing, for which they are required by law to give a minimum of two weeks notice.

At the public meeting, all who wish to speak to the matter will be given a chance.

Anyone who cannot make the meeting may submit their comments, questions, or concerns in writing either by emailing them to channigan@barriere.ca or letters to the district office.

All submissions will be read at the meeting.

After the public meeting, council will make their decision and either approve or deny the rezoning application, taking into careful consideration all the comments made during the public meeting. Before issuing a licence, the province will check with the district to confirm whether or not the rezoning was approved at the municipal level. If it was – the applicant gets the licence (assuming they’ve met the provinces own requirements). If applicants don’t meet the requirements, applicants won’t get the license.

The public meeting regarding the rezoning will be held on Oct. 7., at 7 p.m.

During the public enquiries portion of the meeting, local resident Jim Secord asked council to consider designating the site where currently the CN Barriere sign is posted along the tracks as a heritage site.

If this is done at the local level, then the district can apply to Victoria to have the Province approve this designation, which in turn would allow the rebuilding of the old station house at little to no cost to the district.

Secord went on to say that CN would also likely be quite interested in being involved, as it would be both good public relations for them and potentially a “site of interest” for their passenger trains.

Council members agreed that this was worth looking in to and getting more information on the process of declaring the site as a historical one.

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