Delta’s bylaw amendment sets the stage for future commercial cannabis growing operations, similar to this purpose-built greenhouse in Maple Ridge. (Contributed photo)

Pot production a possibility on Delta farmland

Amendments to Delta’s zoning bylaw could see cannabis production permitted on farmland

Despite long opposition, the City Delta has given initial approval to an amendment that would allow cannabis to be grown on farmland.

The amendment, which received first and second reading on Monday (Aug. 27), comes after the provincial government decided cannabis production was an acceptable land use in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

That decision, made in mid-July of this year, means that pot can be produced on ALR land if it is grown lawfully in either an open field, a structure with a soil base, a pre-existing structure, or a structure that was under construction as of July 13.

Cannabis production in concrete bunkers is not considered an acceptable farm use.

RELATED: Marijuana growing rules aim to protect B.C. farmland

In the past, the city has strongly opposed the growing of marijuana on farmland.

In 2014, council attempted to change Delta’s zoning bylaw to prohibit medical marijuana production in all zones, only allowing facilities to be approved on a case by case basis. This was blocked by the province, which said lawful cannabis production is an acceptable farm use and can’t be blocked by municipal bylaws.

Now that recreational marijuana is set to be legalized on Oct. 17, the city is updating its bylaw to reflect the province’s recent land use decision.

“Our bylaw amendment is taking the new agricultural land reserve wording, and putting it into our zoning bylaw as it relates to any zone where farming is permitted,” Delta director of community planning and development Marcy Sangret said. “If you have farming as a permitted use, then it specifies that the growing of cannabis is allowed, subject to conditions.”

Some of these conditions include that the lot must be in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the grower must have all the necessary federal and provincial licences, and they must follow the rules set out by the provincial government in July.

The majority of Delta’s farmland is in the ALR, and is zoned A1 for agriculture. However, this amendment also applies to A2 (golf course and agricultural), I1 (low-impact industrial) and I2 (medium-impact industrial) zones, as those are also found in the ALR.

The zoning bylaw amendment proposes to exclude cannabis production and research from low-impact industrial areas, as well as manufacturing and warehousing zones.

RELATED: Pot still top of mind for Delta council

Delta is also considering a few other amendments to its zoning bylaw when it comes to cannabis. These are largely housekeeping changes that will continue to prohibit cannabis smoking lounges and dispensaries in all zones, as well as have research and development facilities, dispensaries and production facilities excluded from the list of acceptable home-based businesses.

It also further clarifies the City of Delta’s position that dispensaries are prohibited in all zones, and cannabis production, research and development is only allowed in zones “where such use is expressly permitted.”

The amendment to Delta’s zoning bylaw will now go to a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 25. If the amendment receives third reading from council, it will then be sent to the Ministry of Agriculture for review before final approval.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Village Farms International greenhouses in Delta cover more than 61 hectares and are being converted to grow medical and recreational marijuana. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Just Posted

Friends of ‘Mac’ rally to fund young family left behind by former martial arts teacher in Surrey

‘He’s well loved,’ says operator of Fraser Heights academy where Mackenzie MacWilliams studied, worked

Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

Police food drive to help feed North Delta kids

Donations collected will go support the Rotary Club’s Starfish Pack program

Seven years after daughter’s death, grieving mother issues new appeal for answers

Ashley Chauvin’s body was found near South Surrey’s Nicomekl River in July 2012

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Canada privacy watchdog taking Facebook to court

If the court application is successful, it could lead to modest fines and an order for Facebook to revamp its privacy

One million recyclable bottles “lost” daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

VIDEO: Highway One to be widened east to 264th Street in Fraser Valley

The $235 million project includes upgrades to overpasses and a rail bridge

Most Read