Thursday, September 13, 2018


Element GP Inc Cannabis Production Facility 
 Clearwater County Council has taken the first step to allow Element GP Inc., out of Calgary, to establish a major cannabis production facility approximately ½ mile north of the junction of SH 587 (the Bowden Road) and Hwy. 22. On July 24, council passed a motion to allow approximately 40 acres to be re-designated from Agriculture to Light Industrial.
On August 17th Element submitted a development permit application for their proposed 58,600 SQ. FT cannabis cultivation and extraction facility to be erected on this re-designated land. That application will now be assessed/evaluated by the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) at a meeting that must be held within 40 days of the application submission.
Interestingly, this development does not comply with the Land Use Bylaw passed by this council in March. The stumbling block is the 300m. setback restriction from a “property boundary” that has a residence and/or other noted facilities. To counter that, Council passed first reading, on August 28th, to revise the original LUB and remove the words “property boundary” so the setback would merely state “300m. from a residence”, etc..
A public hearing on this matter will be held on October 9, to be followed potentially by second and third reading. The questions remain for MPC, “Will/Can they allow the development permit in spite of the current LUB? Will they turn it down, as they should, given the current restrictions?? Or Will they postpone a decision until after the October 9th public hearing??
Approximately 50 people attended the public hearing in July to voice their unanimous opposition to the building of this facility.

Leslieville/Condor Fire Halls
 At their regular council meeting on August 28th, Council accepted information and directed administration to proceed with gathering more figures and specific information on the development of these two facilities. Current plans propose a new Public Services Building for Condor and a re-purposed Public Works building for an enlarged/improved facility in Leslieville. The total cost of the two facilities is approximately $6,000,000. Discussion took place on how costs might be trimmed, with administration to come back with answers to that. The Condor project is slated to commence in 2019 and the Leslieville one in 2020.

Broadband Improvements
 Council is proposing to submit a resolution to the fall convention of the Rural Municipalities Association requesting that organization urge the provincial and federal governments to support and fund improved internet service to rural areas. Council will be seeking support for their resolution from other rural municipalities.

 Special bouquets of roses goes out to members of our Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services who have gone to help fight fires in B.C.. Not only do we appreciate all their efforts and dedicated service here but we applaud their willingness to share their energies with our neighbors in their significant struggles.

Coming Events
September 13, 2018, 7:30PM, Arbutus Community Hall, Regular monthly meeting 

October 9, 2018, Clearwater Council Chambers, Public Hearing re Land Use Bylaw on Cannabis 
Production AND Retail Facilities. (TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED)

October 11, 2019, 7:30 PM, Arbutus Community Hall, Regular monthly meeting

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


By Marianne Cole

Element GP Inc., the Calgary based company proposing to develop a large cannabis production facility along Hwy. 22 south of Caroline, submitted a Development Permit Application to Clearwater County on August 17, 2018. This application will now be reviewed by our Municipal Planning Commission (MPC). They have 40 days from the date of submission to do that, meaning that the review must be done prior to September 26, 2018.

There have been significant concerns raised by neighbors with regards to this development proposal. They are particularly concerned about reduced land values as well as water issues, impact on wildlife which they enjoy on their land, and then all the effects of the facility--- lights, smell, noise, and traffic. Element has indicated that they will mitigate those last concerns but in speaking with a neighbor of the facility at Cremona, they are very real issues.

Perhaps of greatest significance is the fact that this facility, in this location, DOES NOT COMPLY with the Land Use Bylaw passed UNANIMOUSLY by this Council in March of this year. That bylaw stipulates a 300m setback restriction from a property boundary with a residence. In Element’s application there is a very clear diagram that shows setbacks from neighboring property boundaries of 87m. to 235 m.. Aside from clearly indicating non-compliance, the diagram is also lacking in information as no measurement is shown for a property, with a residence, lying across Hwy 22 to the east.

What is particularly disturbing is that the process is now in the hands of a MINORITY OF COUNCIL. There are only 3 councillors (out of 7) and 2 members at large on the MPC. They will review the application and will make a decision to either accept it, accept it with conditions, or refuse it. There will be no public hearing and the other councillors have no say (although we do not know what communication may or may not be taking place in the background).

Any resident of Clearwater County can submit a Letter of Concern regarding this development BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018. They can be hand delivered, sent by e-mail to or mailed to Administration, Clearwater County, Box 550, Rocky Mtn. House, AB T4T 1A4.

* Non-compliance with the Land Use Bylaw. If we allow this to go forward even though it does not follow the rules, we are opening the door to numerous other applications for any type of development anywhere in the county. According to the Land Use Bylaw the guidelines in it are established to promote “orderly development” within the county. This would open the door to chaos.
* Unanimous opposition to the development presented by neighbors at the Public Hearing in July. Their concerns went completely unheeded as council passed the land re-designation.
* Concerns with Element’s integrity. Their own published information states that they are “Coming Soon” and “will be built in Clearwater County”. This can be found in information on their own website that was set up long before the development permit application even went in.
* This leads one to question the validity of other statements they make with regards to water usage and community outreach.
* There certainly may be other concerns individuals have and I encourage you to contact people in the Cremona area who have first-hand experience with a similar facility.