Notice of Public Hearing - Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1238, 2018

Posted: February 8, 2018

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The District of Tofino is holding a Public Hearing to consider Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1238, 2018 on February 13, 2018 at 9:30 in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Hall.

With proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw 1238, Council is considering taking a cautious approach to the storefront retail sales of recreational cannabis and cannabis production in advance of detailed and final provincial regulations. Under the present regulatory framework, it is arguable that cannabis retail could be permitted anywhere that retail sales are permitted in Tofino. We do not believe that this broad potential for locations is supported by the community or in the community interest.

If passed, Bylaw 1238 would result in applications for recreational cannabis retail to be considered by Council and the community on a case-by-case basis. The municipality could then spot-zone to allow cannabis sales after community input has been received. This is not unlike considering spot zoning for liquor retail or other uses that have legitimate health and safety concerns where Council wants the community to weigh-in. Council will then have the opportunity to consider adjacency and other land use issues.

Contrary to opinions that have been expressed on social media, Tofino Council, on whole, is supportive of cannabis legalization if that legalization is done carefully and stepwise. This is evidenced in Council’s letter to the Cannabis Legalization Secretariat regarding cannabis regulation which is available at the following link.

The proposed District of Tofino zoning amendment will have no impact on the distribution or use of medicinal cannabis, the recreational consumption of cannabis. Medical cannabis distribution will continue to be regulated by the federal Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation.

Balancing the health benefits and health impacts of recreational cannabis is recognized to be one of the many challenges facing municipalities as cannabis is legalized this spring. The approach being contemplated whereby the retail sale and production of cannabis would be restricted will allow Tofino Council the opportunity work with the community to explore these various concerns.

The agenda package for the Public Hearing is available on our webpage.

All persons who deem their interest in property affected by the proposed bylaw will be given an opportunity to be heard on matters contained in the bylaw. The application and further information may be inspected at the Tofino Municipal Office, 121 Third St., Tofino, B.C., during regular business hours (9:00 am - 4:00 pm) between January 29, 2018 and February 12, 2018 except weekends and statutory holidays. Written submissions may be emailed to arodgers@tofino.ca. Please submit any comments or concerns you may have regarding this application before 4:00 PM, February 9, 2018.

For information regarding B.C. Provincial Government cannabis regulation please refer to their website at the following link.