The District of Central Saanich will hold a public hearing next week giving the community an opportunity to weigh in on a proposed amendment to a bylaw meant to safeguard local farmland from some cannabis production.
Council will invite feedback in regard to the Cannabis Production-Structure Restrictions Bylaw during the Dec. 10 meeting at Central Saanich Municipal Hall.
The amendment ensures any cannabis production in Central Saanich on land designated part of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is done on a base consisting entirely of soil and not a concrete floor.
“The whole idea around it was to preserve as much farmland as possible,” said Jarret Matanowitsch, director of planning and building services for the District.
In July, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) – which oversees the ALR – made changes to regulations outlining how ALR land can be used with the then-impending October legalization of marijuana generating interest among potential growers across the province.
At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture moved to “to support local government land use planning and bylaw development in the ALR.”
As Matanowitsch put it: “Essentially we’re just mirroring the ALC regulations through this bylaw amendment.”
“We’re making it clear in our zoning,” he said, “that ALC approval and rezoning is required if you wanted to operate with concrete.”
The District of Central Saanich will meet Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at Central Saanich Municipal Hall (1903 Mt. Newton Cross Road).