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
If that is successful they will then proceed with
a development permit application which will again be reviewed by the
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.
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.