No cannabis rule exemption for former High Park property

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Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Intitiative

A local greenhouse operator won’t get an exemption to Enniskillen’s new bylaw limiting where cannabis operations can set up shop.

Enniskillen Township council was unable to make a decision whether it should permit a site specific cannabis zoning bylaw for Christine and Jack Greydanus on their property at Lasalle Line, which had previously been home to High Park Farms.

There were complaints of odour, noise and light pollution from neighbours – particularly the Brand family right across the road from the operation. When High Park Farms closed, the township changed its bylaw restricting how close a cannabis operation can set up near homes.

On Aug. 21 when the township passed the new zoning, The Greydanus’ told council the bylaw limits their prospect of selling the greenhouse. They want an exemption to allow another cannabis processing operation on the property, if an opportunity presents itself in the future.

So Monday, Enniskillen council first took a vote to deny the Greydanus’ request for site specific zoning. With only four members of council present, it failed with a tie. Deputy Mayor Judy Krall and Councillor Mary Lynne McCallum voted in favour of the motion.

After the motion to deny the request failed, Councillor Wally Van Dun moved the township move ahead with the zoning requested but he didn’t get anyone to agree.

The Greydanus’ can now appeal the non decision – something – which they are expected to do.

If an appeal is registered, it will go before the Ontario Lands Tribunal.
An appeal against the zoning bylaw passed on Aug. 21 has already been filed by Lawyer Scott Snider.

“We are stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Councillor Mary Lynne McCallum. “There is going to be an appeal anyway.”

Van Dun’s motion to approve the site specific bylaw amendment included additional conditions suggested by Ken Melanson, Lambton County’s Manager of Planning and Development Services. The conditions involved odour control, the site plan drawings and having a contingency odour management plan. Van Dun’s motion could not find a member of council to second it, so it couldn’t move forward.

The township received a letter from a lawyer, representing Trevor Brand, asking another public meeting be held to address the issue. Brand’s mother lives across from the Greydanus property and has been fighting against the cannabis operations since High Park Farms opened. He wanted the site specific amendment denied.

Council had held a public meeting in January and Melanson questioned what would be achieved. The most impacted people of this decision are in attendance at the meeting, Melanson said, and they have already raised five to eight key issues, which include noise, light and odour, and didn’t expect anything new to be raised.

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