Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper

Mayor’s column: Council talks cannabis, underpass

The city is busy with several projects, construction is strong, initiatives like the branding project, Innovation Centre, and important community events. As many of you know I try to support as many community events as I can.

I have spoken of the next couple items before that are now moving forward. This article contains dates for some very important upcoming meetings.

The first item I want to talk about is the upcoming legalization of cannabis now proposed for this summer.

Council is taking a moderately regulated approach to retail sales of cannabis. What we understand, from the province, at this time is that cannabis sales will be regulated and licenced in a way very similar to alcohol sales. So, just like alcohol sales, anyone wanting to sell cannabis will need to apply for a BC provincial licence. The provincial licence application will then be sent to Salmon Arm council for consideration. Therefore, council wants to create a policy with criteria for approving or rejecting these applications. This is where you come in.

Council is looking for your input, your views on what this policy should look like. Questions regarding the location of these stores, such as should retail cannabis sales store be located a certain distance from schools or licensed children’s daycare facilities? Should there be a certain distance between retail cannabis stores similar to what is in place for liquor stores? Should there be a set distance between cannabis retail stores and liquor stores? Should cannabis retail stores be allowed in a building containing residential dwellings? Should applications have a plan to control order? If you need further information to help with your decision making have a look at our city staff report which has been posted to the mayor’s blog on the city website: www.salmonarm.ca. Then plan to attend the public input meeting to be held April 16, 7 p.m. at the Prestige.

The second item, is the public informational meetings regarding the Ross Street Underpass. There will be open houses on May 3, June 28, Aug. 30. Come out and see the information for yourself, talk to the engineers, ask any questions that have been on your mind about this proposed project.

Next, while this has already passed the public hearing and was approved to move ahead, is the new Marrott Fairfield Hotel. It appears they have started clearing the property so they can begin construction soon.

Lastly, as residential construction continues to be strong, an OCP amendment and rezoning public hearing for a proposed 130 single-family lot subdivision along Park Hill Road, on the way to Canoe, will be coming to public hearing April 9. See the city website for details.

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