When Lacombe County staff present council with a bylaw to regulate legal cannabis, production facilities will not be a discretionary use in Heavy Industrial districts.

That was the direction given to administration at Thursday’s meeting.

Heavy Industrial zonings are typically reserved for large, capital-intensive industries that can have a major impact on the environment.

“Cannabis production facilities, not so much, said Anita O’Driscoll, the county’s senior planner, adding that would-be pot producers do not need such a zoning.

The concern was, once land is rezoned as a Heavy Industrial district, that could pave the way for all the allowable uses for that designation, not just the use that the developer claims to be applying for.

“To give them the opportunity to rezone to Heavy Industrial, means we’re creating a Heavy Industrial site, where something like a petrochemical company could come in without any consultation,” said O’Driscoll.

She said county staff will now be drafting a bylaw, with first reading expected in September.

Based on public feedback, regulations for cannabis producers and processors could include:

  • Special consultation requirements
  • Traffic Impact Assessment and Noise Impact Assessment
  • Landscaping consistent with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles
  • Lighting to follow Dark Sky principles
  • Permit term
  • Parking
  • Building design and signage
  • Addressing nuisances such as odour

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