Rowing Canada making North Cowichan home base

Rowing Canada making North Cowichan home base

Council spells out clear guidelines for prospective cannabis retailers

Rowing Canada Aviron will be making North Cowichan its new home beginning in 2021.

The announcement came at the beginning of the Jan. 16 North Cowichan council meeting.

“With its focus on health, sport, and excellence, Rowing Canada is exactly the partner that we want in our community,” noted North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. “We envision many opportunities for collaboration and learning together. We believe that Canada’s top rowers will be inspiring role-models for young people in our community.”

The municipality’s Financial Services Division was also celebrated, receiving the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting for the eighth year in a row. The award recognizes excellence in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

In other developments, council approved the relocation of the Spirit of the Earth Statue in Chemainus from the corner of Willow Street and Chemainus Road to Heritage Park.

Council considered a policy to guide consideration of retail cannabis zoning applications. The policy suggests that retail cannabis is most appropriate on properties that are: on major roads; in lands that are already commercial; 600 metres from schools, playgrounds and rec centres; and 300m from another retail cannabis use.

The policy confirms North Cowichan will only consider cannabis land-use applications where an application has been submitted to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, and that applicants be required to hold a neighbourhood information meeting as part of the land-use application process.

Council considered three options for regulating cannabis: 1) adopt the draft policy and process applications in compliance with the cannabis retail sales policy; 2) adopt the policy and undertake a call for applications that would be evaluated at the same time; and 3) reject the policy and process applications without an established policy.

After much discussion, council adopted the Retail Cannabis Sales Policy and directed staff to present rezoning applications in queue. Six rezoning applications for retail cannabis have been received to date.

Council also initiated a process to update the definitions in the Zoning Bylaw to reflect updated Federal and Provincial cannabis production licensing regulations and asked staff to report back on options for Micro Cannabis Production Facilities and cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The scheduling of public hearings was again discussed and council decided on a time in the evening to make them more accessible for people working during the day. Public hearings will be scheduled on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

The next regular council meeting is Wednesday, February 6 at 1:30 p.m.