By Nikki Jamieson SOUTHERN ALBERTA NEWSPAPERS on June 10, 2021.
Proximity played a factor in a recent rezoning denial in Coaldale.
During a recent regular town council meeting, Coaldale rejected a rezoning bylaw for a potential cannabis store in Coaldale.
Bylaw 816-P-05-21 would have rezoned lands legally described as Plan 6476AA Block 7 Lot 2, or 1606 20 Avenue, from Commercial C-1 to Direct Control DC.
The applicant operates a cannabis retail store in Lethbridge, and wished to open another store in Coaldale. The bylaw aimed to apply the same requirements as a Commercial C-1 zoning, including cannabis retail sales, and provide town staff with the authority to issue a development permit if the zoning change was approved.
The town’s land-use bylaw also states a cannabis retail store cannot be located within 500 metres from another similar use; 300 metres from a parcel of land on which a School, Child Care Facility, Recreational and/or Sporting Facility, Community Centre, Park and Playground is located; 100 metres from the boundary of a parcel of land on which a provincially-owned or operated medical facility is located; 100 metres from the boundary of a parcel of land on which a Liquor Store is located; and 100 metres from the boundary of a parcel designated as a school reserve (SR) or municipal and school reserve (MSR) is located.
A recently approved cannabis retail store is located just over 200-feet away on 18 Street, and administration had communicated to the applicant a waiver for the setback would need to be granted in order for the rezoning application to be approved, which Cam Mills, manager of Economic and Community Development for the town, said was a “relatively consequential waiver request.”
The location is also next to the Campbell Clinic, where practitioners had previously expressed concerns over proximity of cannabis retail stores to them. Coun. Jacen Abrey raised concern that kiddy-corner to the proposed location is the town’s Fire Hall, where the Coaldale and District Emergency Services, in partnership with Palliser School Division, runs the Kate Andrews Fire Academy.
“I am not against business, but this location, being it’s right across from a school, is not the right location,” said Abrey.
Mills noted administration had not interpreted the Fire Hall as a school, although he said that interpreted could be made and was “a perfectly reasonable point of view.”
Additionally, as an application had been made and the corresponding fee paid, town staff is not in a position to deny people the opportunity to speak to council.
Council passed a motion to defeat first reading of the bylaw, in a split 6-1 vote, with Coun. Henry ‘Butch’ Pauls voting against.
Council also unanimously passed a motion to refund the cost of the application fee.