Lacombe adopts zoning rules for cannabis sales and production

By rdnewsNOW staff
September 12, 2018 - 9:39am Updated: September 12, 2018 - 12:10pm

Lacombe city council has adopted a bylaw on where the sale and production of cannabis may be located in Lacombe once it becomes legal.

Under the approved bylaw, cannabis retail stores will be permitted uses in the following:

- C1 - Downtown Commercial District

- C3 - Transitional Commercial District

- C4 - Highway Commercial District

- C5 - Shopping Centre District

- I1 –Light Industrial District

Cannabis retail stores will be discretionary uses in C2 - Neighbourhood Commercial and DC2 - Direct Control districts.

Development applications for these areas will be brought before the Municipal Planning Commission for consideration.

Cannabis production and distribution will be permitted uses in I1 – Light Industrial and I2 – Heavy Industrial districts.

Production and processing will be discretionary uses in:

- C3 - Transitional Commercial District

- C4 - Highway Commercial District

- C5 - Shopping Centre District

- DC2 - Direct Control District

Cannabis production, distribution and retail sales are prohibited in the I1 - Light Industrial District located on 40 Brownstone Road.

Cannabis retail sales are also prohibited at 5536 58 Street (Winks Convenience Store).

"Council wants to ensure that when legalization occurs next month, there is no confusion around the appropriate land use districts for cannabis sales, production and distribution," said Mayor Grant Creasey. "Of greater concern to the members of our community will be the rules and regulations surrounding consumption of cannabis products. Council will be addressing this issue soon, and I am confident we can craft the appropriate guidelines that best suit our community expectations."

"The City is now accepting development applications, on a first-come, first-serve basis, for the production and retail sales of cannabis in Lacombe," said Manager of Planning and Development Debbie Bonnett. "There has been a lot of interest, and to date we have received two applications for retail sales."

Interested parties with questions about the application process can call the Planning and Development Services at 403-782-1264 for assistance.

No retail sales will be open to the public, but Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has indicated it will be allowing licensed operators to stock cannabis inventory ahead of the legalization date on October 17.

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Also this week, council confirmed the appointment of Matthew Goudy as the City of Lacombe’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), effective September 6.

Goudy was named CAO in March and recently completed a six-month probation period. 

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Council has given second and third readings to a bylaw to establish parental leave for elected officials.

The bylaw allows members of council to take a parental leave of their position prior to or after the birth or adoption of a child. Members are eligible for parental leave after serving six months on Council. Parental leave taken under this bylaw shall not exceed 16 consecutive weeks, unless extensions are granted at Council’s discretion. During parental leave, council members will receive 55 per cent of their base monthly honorarium that they would have otherwise received.

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Council approved the Council Remuneration Policy in light of federal tax changes affecting the take home pay of mayors and councillors.

Under the current Income Tax Act, one third of the monthly remuneration is considered a “municipal officers general expense allowance” and is deemed non-taxable. With the changed Income Tax Act, the entire monthly remuneration will be fully taxable and subject to employment insurance and Canada pension deductions.

This change requires a reconsideration of the City’s existing Council Remuneration Policy. After discussion and consideration, the Council Remuneration Committee recommended an increase Council wages in 2019 to ensure the net pay remains consistent with 2018 levels of compensation.

The salaries per elected official position were adjusted to the fully taxable equivalent, with the intent to have individual net pay remain whole. Officials note the increase results in no net benefit to the Mayor or Councillors.

 

(Gary McKinnon - The City of Lacombe)

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