Thursday, August 2, 2018


By Marianne Cole

Following a public hearing on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 county council unanimously voted in favor of rezoning 40 acres of agricultural land to light industrial in order to allow Element GP Inc. out of Calgary to continue the process of possibly developing a cannabis production facility about half way between Caroline and Sundre on the west side of Hwy. 22, just north of the Bowden Road intersection.

What does this mean?
Element will now proceed to subdivide the 40 acres. They will make application for the subdivision at the planning department and this will then be reviewed by the Municipal Planning Committee.
If that is successful they will then proceed with a development permit application which will again be reviewed by the MPC.

All power/control/decision making on those two steps rests with the Municipal Planning Committee. THE WHOLE COUNCIL WILL NOT HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE ANY INPUT/VOTING PRIVILEGES FROM NOW ON.

MPC members include councillors Darryl Lougheed, Tim Hoven, and Jim Duncan along with Members at Large Cheryl Dezall and Kelly Spongberg. Members of the public can submit letters of concern to the MPC (submit through the county’s mailing address or contact the council members on the committee directly).

Allowing this development to proceed opens the door to other such operations anywhere in the county. This is exactly why this council passed a bylaw in March of this year---to prohibit cannabis production facilities to pop up anywhere. Highlights of that bylaw stated that council should direct these types of operations to industrial parks.

If not in an industrial park then there are set-back restrictions. This proposed location does not follow the set-back restrictions. By passing the first step (the re-designation) council has opened the door to the next steps, ignoring the very by-law they established, as well as allowing other applications to ignore county established bylaws.

What can be done now??
We encourage people to call their councillors to voice their opinion or send them an e-mail.
If the development permit is approved, any affected persons can Appeal the Decision which then will be heard by the Subdivision/Development Appeal Board in a public hearing.

Let’s voice our opinions NOW so it doesn’t go to that.

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