At least one Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director isn’t in favour of the idea of allowing cannabis production facilities in industrial zones.
Tom Siddon, director for Area D (Kaleden/Okanagan Falls), said he’s against allowing cannabis production and processing facilities in industrial zones in his area and he hopes other directors will consider the potential consequences to residents.
He noted specifically the Okanagan Falls Industrial Park, where the former Weyerhaeuser mill was located, and its proximity to residential areas.
“Right close you have Peach Cliff Estates, a trailer park, a new housing development above there. A lot of people won’t be happy with that kind of operation which could be a potential neighbour,” he said. “At the last meeting they gave first reading to (the bylaw) and I’m not very happy about it.”
Siddon was away on vacation at the time of the last RDOS meeting on March 22, so he didn’t to speak to the issue during the initial discussion.
A public meeting is slated to happen April 5 to give the public a chance to give comment. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. and is taking place at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Convention Centre, as the RDOS boardroom is being used for emergency operations due to flooding throughout the region.
The bylaw, as it reads now, would allow cannabis production and processing in General Industrial and I2 Heavy Industrial Zones in areas A,C,D,E and F.
Following the March 22 meeting, Karla Kozakevich, chair of the RDOS, said there weren’t many parcels in the region that are zoned industrial, but the idea is to give an option to developers to not build those facilities on agriculture land.
“It was the general consensus of the board we would like to direct those facilities to the industrial zone. They can go in agriculture, the ALR, so it’s the Agriculture Land Commission, they have jurisdiction there and it’s permitted, but we would rather not see agriculture land taken up by monster size buildings that are doing production inside like turning the plants into oils and pills and edibles and all that stuff,” she said.
Later that afternoon, during the regular board meeting, the board will vote on third reading and, if approved, the bylaw will be adopted.
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