Cindy Pendergast has filed a petition against the Town of Sidney after councillors denied her application to open a retail cannabis store on Beacon Avenue. The issue boils down to two opposing requirements from the Province and Town when it comes to window displays. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Cindy Pendergast has filed a petition against the Town of Sidney after councillors denied her application to open a retail cannabis store on Beacon Avenue. The issue boils down to two opposing requirements from the Province and Town when it comes to window displays. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Hopeful Sidney pot shop owner challenges town in court after application denied

A court petition has been filed against the Town of Sidney

A proposed Sidney pot store is filing a petition after councillors denied an application for the store to set up on the Town’s main street.

Cindy Pendergast and her business partner hope to open Happy Buddha Cannabis in the 2400-block of Beacon Avenue but her application to do so has not been able to pass due to two opposing requirements.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) requires opaque window coverings for recreational cannabis stores. However, Sidney’s development permit guidelines for Beacon Avenue businesses require transparent windows with active displays.

“Although Sidney amended a bylaw saying the business is allowed on Beacon Avenue, we’ve run into this window roadblock,” Pendergast said. “It was the final step and it was so shocking because we had such positive conversations until now.”

READ ALSO: Sidney’s first-ever pot store application flames out before council

The Town adopted a policy in August that said all stores on Beacon Avenue must have transparent windows. Pendergast said she and her partner were in talks with the province and the Town to come up with a solution that worked for both governing bodies. They came up with the idea of a living wall window display that would be both active and non-transparent.

A rendering of the living wall that was proposed for Happy Buddha Cannabis’ store window. The LCRB approved this design as opposed to an opaque window and Pendergast proposed the design to Sidney Council. (Courtesy of Cindy Pendergast)

Pendergast said a rendering of the wall was was commissioned and sent to the LCRB. It was the first time the Branch approved a window display like it and did so the day of the council meeting so it could be available for council to consider.

“We submitted it because we thought it was beautiful enough for Beacon Avenue as it is lively, very appealing and met the LCRB’s fully non-transparent requirements,” Pendergast said.

Now, Pendergast has acquired legal services to challenge Sidney council’s decision.

Her lawyer, John Alexander of Cox Taylor Lawyers in Victoria, said Sidney cannot ask that Pendergast do something that is against provincial law.

READ ALSO: Owners of denied pot store in Sidney have not ruled out legal action

“A municipal government cannot require what a provincial government prohibits,” Alexander said. “Provincial law trumps local municipal law.”

Pendergast said she and her partner cannot understand why the window is becoming such a roadblock. They have put about $40,000 into the business expecting the last approval with the Town would work out.

Members of the public and businesses have also favoured the application, Pendergast added.

“We have done everything council has wanted us to do,” Pendergast said. “We’re nice people… it’s going to be a really nice store so our hope is that we can complete the application process successfully and continue to work with Sidney positively.”

According to Alexander, the petition will now work its way through the court process and is tentatively scheduled to be heard in the second or third week of January 2020 at the Victoria Supreme Court of B.C.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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

Forty-two residential properties in Oak Bay were assessed the speculation and vacancy tax in 2019 for a total of $693,000. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
74 Oak Bay property owners paid $693,000 in spec tax

42 properties were assessed with the SVT in 2019

Staff at Artemis Place Secondary were shocked to find that one of the student-built greenhouses on the campus was stolen overnight on Jan. 11. (Artemis Place Society/Facebook)
Saanich school hopes to catch greenhouse thief red-handed

Student-built greenhouses stolen from Artemis Place Secondary on Jan. 11

Jail cell - Reporter file photo
Two of Greater Victoria’s most notorious teenaged killers have parole privileges extended

Derik Lord gets overnight privileges while Kelly Ellard’s are extended

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria raises record-breaking $350,000 for Salvation Army

The charity says it’s seen an increase in need since COVID-19 hit

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Smaller egg farmers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation when it comes to major producers and chain-grocery store shelf space. (Citizen file)
Vancouver Island egg producer cries foul over ‘Island’ label

Egg farmer frustrated with regulations allowing mainland-laid eggs to be labelled ‘Island’

Police and fire crews at work at a fire scene at Mount Prevost School (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Classes cancelled by fire at a Duncan-area school for the second time this week

Fire this morning at Duncan area middle school follows Monday blaze at nearby elementary

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
Police seek public’s help after ‘tire slashing spree’ in central Nanaimo

Ten reports of slashed tires in the last three days, say Nanaimo RCMP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

50 km/hr speed limit sign.
POLL: What do you think the speed limit should be on residential streets without a centre line?

Traffic on side streets around Greater Victoria could soon be travelling at… Continue reading

Most Read