Central Saanich staff propose larger setbacks for pot growing

Changes are to prepare for impending legalization

The District of Central Saanich is proposing new regulations on marijuana grow ops in Central Saanich, both on agricultural and industrial land.

In 2015, the provincial government ruled that cannabis growing was an acceptable use of ALR land, and local governments cannot overrule that decision. However, local governments can regulate some specifics like lot coverage, buffer zones and drainage. In addition, not all farmland is contained within the provincial ALR, so on those lands, local government can choose to prohibit it completely, and they are proposing exactly that. At a March 26 Public Hearing, District staff presented some detail.

RELATED: ALR land is no place for pot greenhouses, says Central Saanich group.

Jarret Matanowitsch, Director of Planning Services for the district, explained at the hearing that staff studied other jurisdictions and designed the proposal to place recreational and medicinal marijuana growing under the same local bylaws. Staff propose bylaw regulations for farmland both inside and outside the ALR as well as light industrial zones.

On most agricultural land, there are no rules for lot coverage and smaller setbacks. For cannabis, the District is proposing to limit cultivation to ALR lands only, with buildings at 35 per cent lot coverage, setbacks of 30 metres from property lines and 100 metres from the ALR boundary, and setbacks of 150 metres from schools, parks, and institutional-use areas. For industrial zones like the Keating Business District, Central Saanich staff propose the same 150 metre setback from schools, parks, and institutional-use areas, and a 60 metre setback from residential, comprehensive, and mixed-use areas.

RELATED: North Saanich councillor wants cannabis injunction.

A series of speakers were generally supportive of District efforts, and some wanted the District to go farther and contest the growing of marijuana on ALR land and trying to prohibit retail outlets, which was outside the scope of this particular hearing.

Coun. Alicia Holman asked to delay the close of the public hearing until they could get feedback from the Central Saanich Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Peninsula & Area Agricultural Commissions, which passed.

The public hearing will resume April 16 at 6 p.m., which will provide those commissions time to research and report back.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Saanich police search for potential victims, witnesses after series of unprovoked assaults

Police are looking for more information about two incidents from June 12

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read