How many drugs stores does a neighbourhood need?
Surrey city Councillor Steven Pettigrew posed that question to council on Feb. 22 before it approved a development variance permit for Daksh Pharmacy Services Ltd., at 8268 Scott Road in Newton, to reduce the minimum separation requirement between drug stores and methadone dispensaries to 90 metres from the current 400 metres to accommodate a small-scale drug store in conjunction with a medical clinic.
“We’ve had a very large increase in the number of these small drug stores and we have buffer zones in place – we have buffer zones for alcohol and buffer zones for drug stores, and there’s a certain radius and so forth and I really feel that there’s enough of it,” Pettigrew said.
“Right now, this buffer or this circle that encapsulates this area we already have four existing drug stores in it and I feel that’s enough, do we really need to put a fifth one in there?”
On March 8, a similar development variance request came before council to reduce the distance under the bylaw to reduce the minimum separation distance to 130 metres from 400 metres to allow for a small-scale drug store at 15315-66th Ave. One speaker at the public hearing spoke in favour, one spoke against, and under correspondence two people registered their support, 16 opposed it and seven expressed concerns.
Council also approved this second one, again with Pettigrew opposed.