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‘We can’t just pick up and leave’; West Kelowna residents concerned with proposed cannabis operation

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West Kelowna residents concerned with new cannabis operation – Apr 23, 2020

A proposed cannabis growing operation in West Kelowna has some nearby mobile-home residents concerned.

“The more I looked into it, the more I realized that there were a lot of concerns that we needed answers to,” said Bill Friesen, a concerned resident living at the nearby Crystal Springs mobile-home park.

The operation is proposed to be built at an industrial complex on Kyle Road.

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The site is in close proximity to the Crystal Springs mobile-home park and Interior Heath’s Brookhaven Care Centre.

“[The city] considers us to be outside of the regulated 150 metres, which I contend is wrong,” said Friesen.
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Friesen said he sent multiple emails to the City of West Kelowna, using their own diagrams to show the operation is much too close to Crystal Springs and Brookhaven Care Centre.

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“This is a considerable health issue, life changing. We don’t rent here, we own,” Friesen told Global News on Thursday.

“We cant just pick up and leave if conditions go bad.”

Other mobile-home residents are worried about the possible smell emanating from the facility.

“The smell, you can compare it to liquid manure being spread in the fields,” said Judy Lamoureux

“We’ve been at friends that live close to one. At night, if you opened your window, you couldn’t stand the window being open.”

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Residents are also worried about their properties losing value.

“There are people concerned about property values and they can talk about smells too, but property values is my major concern,” said Bryce Manske, a Crystal Springs resident.

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West Kelowna mayor Gord Milsom sent Global News a statement regarding the public hearing, it read:

“Council and I feel very strongly that the public should be given an opportunity to speak on something as important as the proposed cannabis production facility in a light industrial building on Kyle Road.

“We were unanimous in our decision to hold a public hearing on the matter. The date and format for the hearing will be set once we confirm the statutory process for holding such proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, in keeping with Provincial Health Officer Orders.”

Now, how some of these concerns will be addressed is up in the air — as residents wait for the public hearing date.

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