The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s consideration of the rezoning application by the North Shore couple who wants to establish a medical marijuana grow-op on their property completely dishonours the intention of the recent legislative change by Health Canada.
The federal Minister of Health is quoted in a recent Health Canada news release as saying “municipal zoning laws need to be respected,” and that “these changes will strengthen the safety of Canadian communities.” The changes were fueled in part by the exponential growth of small scale residential grow-ops which have had “unintended consequences for public health, safety and security” (Health Canada, June 10, 2013). This couple’s property is currently zoned residential because it sits in a neighbourhood surrounded by small homes. Changing the zoning won’t change that fact.
The small group of neighbours who the proponent says have “gotten together to create resistance” include all five of the property owners who share a boundary with the property in question. The statement that the amendment is supported by the North Shore Water Utility is misleading because the utility is owned by the family of the proponent. His business plan may keep in tune with his version of the “spirit of the Kootenays,” but not ours. We chose to live in this neighbourhood because of its tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty. These will undoubtedly be compromised when an industrial operation establishes itself in our neighbourhood.