Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples. (File photo)

City of Duncan to consider two applications for cannabis stores

Applications part of pilot project

The City of Duncan will consider two applications for retail marijuana shops at the council meeting on July 15.

The two locations under consideration for temporary-use permits are 130 Trans-Canada Hwy. and 521 Canada Ave.

The applications are the first two of three for retail pot outlets that the city will consider.

The applications are part of a pilot project that the city announced earlier this year in which up to three applicants for pot shops would be considered with whom the city would enter into further discussions to determine if they would receive temporary-use permits to operate in Duncan, if the province gave the city the thumbs up to consider them.

Other jurisdictions in the Cowichan Valley, including the Municipality of North Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley Regional District, are also in the process of considering a number of applications to open retail marijuana stores in the area.

Since recreational pot was legalized in October, there have yet to be any retail pot shops established in the Valley.

RELATED STORY: TWO APPLICATIONS FOR POT SHOPS IN COWICHAN VALLEY APPROVED BY PROVINCE SO FAR

In preparation for the pilot project, the City of Duncan adopted some guiding principles to be considered in determining the locations in which it would consider issuing permits authorizing the retail sale of marijuana.

They include that the sale of marijuana is preferred to not be located within 400 metres of another marijuana retail store, 300 metres of any school, 300 metres of any group daycare, 150 metres of any city park, and 50 metres of any land zoned low density residential zone.

Temporary-use permits in the city can be issued for up to three years, after which time the applicant may reapply once for an extension of another three years.

After six years, the applicant would need to apply to rezone the property permanently.

Council may require specific conditions for these permits based on community input, Official Community Plan policies, or other information relevant to the use or the location.

“This is all new territory so the city has taken our time and been cautious, only considering three applications,” Mayor Michelle Staples said.

“The TUP process allows the city to put conditions in place to alleviate the possibility of negative consequences, provide an opportunity for community feedback, and allow us to review the suitability of the locations and the operations.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN CONSIDERS TWO APPLICATIONS FOR POT SHOPS IN SHOPPING CENTRE

A press release from the city said both proponents of the pot shops are enthusiastic to be moving to this stage of the process and will be reaching out to the neighbourhoods to answer questions about their applications.

In the coming days, notice will be directly mailed to residents and property owners within 122 metres of the two proposed locations.

External referrals have been provided to neighbouring jurisdictions and other government agencies for comment.

Copies of the proposed TUPs will be available for viewing at City Hall and posted on the City’s website at www.duncan.ca.

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