Regional district seeks input on proposed cannabis cultivation rules

Residents will be asked to comment on proposed land-use bylaws for the RDCK

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) will hold a public hearing on Dec. 6 on proposed new bylaws that will govern the cultivation and processing of cannabis in rural areas.

The proposed rules divide cannabis businesses into four categories: standard cultivation, micro-cultivation and nurseries, standard processing, and micro-processing.

For each category there are proposed rules to govern such things as setbacks from property lines, building heights, auxiliary buildings and facility footprints. Details can be found on the RDCK website at rdck.ca.

“I encourage those with interest to become familiar with the proposed land-use regulations and provide feedback to ensure that the proposed regulations balance the needs of our communities and the needs of the cannabis industry to make this transition under the Cannabis Act,” said Meeri Durand, RDCK planning manager.

Some of the proposed regulations are designed to avoid the loss of arable land for food production in agricultural areas.

For electoral areas that have land-use zoning, cultivation and processing will be restricted to specific zones.

The areas of the RDCK that have land-use zoning are portions of areas A and B, all of Area C, only the Ainsworth townsite in Area D, portions of G, and all of areas F, I, J, and K.

There is no zoning in Areas E and H.

In areas that don’t have land-use bylaws, this means cannabis businesses will have no rules to follow other than requirements of the B.C. Building Code, the Agricultural Land Reserve, the Floodplain Management Bylaw and any applicable federal or provincial land-use regulations.

The hearing will take place in the RDCK boardroom at 202 Lakeside Dr. in Nelson at 6 p.m.

The RDCK will be accepting written and electronic submissions from those who are unable to attend in person. Submissions can be made prior to Dec. 6, directly to planning services at plandept@rdck.bc.ca.

The proposed bylaw amendments were drafted following a number of sub-regional workshops that were held in August with community members and industry stakeholders. An online survey was also used to solicit feedback.

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