Revelstoke City Council hosted a public hearing Tuesday for an amendment to the zoning bylaw that is part of the framework that will regulate cannabis production and sales in the city.
At the moment cannabis sales and production is illegal in the city, even after federal legalization goes through on Oct. 17, however that was always meant to be a temporary prohibition, allowing the city enough time to properly consult the public and develop a local cannabis framework.
The framework consists of amendments to four bylaws, including the zoning bylaw which requires a public hearing to be amended.
The proposed amendments to the zoning bylaw include allowing retail stores in C1, C2, C4, C6, C6A, C7 and C11 zones but must be 100 metres apart in the downtown core and 300 metres apart in the permitted zones outside of that.
Production would be allowed in M1 and M2 zones, with a 15 metres setback from the property line if the neighbours are residences.
Residents of Mackenzie Avenue, which is zoned C2, expressed concern at the proposed amendment, saying that it threatens the charm and integrity of the neighbourhood.
“What’s happened in this area is there has been a slow, we feel almost assault, on the area between bed and breakfasts, between Airbnbs and now we are going to have cannabis shops,” said resident Bruce Alan.
He went on to say that the picturesque downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods should be preserved because that is one of the draws for tourists.
“Mackenzie Avenue is one of the primary streets in Revelstoke,” Alan said. “Tourists love it.”
The C2 zone remained in the bylaw amendment, however council requested that staff write it in the cannabis policy that sales not be allowed in residential homes in Revelstoke.
The bylaw amendment passed third reading and has been passed on to the ministry for approval. The cannabis framework is scheduled to be adopted at a special council meeting on Oct. 16.