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Selwyn Township to review its cannabis zoning bylaw

Click to play video: 'Selwyn Township to review its cannabis zoning bylaw' Selwyn Township to review its cannabis zoning bylaw
WATCH: The bylaw that currently regulates how cannabis can be grown in Selwyn Township is now under review. And it comes as opposition mounts over a proposed grow-op near a residential area in Ennismore. Mark Giunta reports – Aug 10, 2021

Selwyn Township is asking the public for feedback on amendments to a zoning bylaw that determines the rules for growing, cultivating and processing cannabis within its borders.

The move comes after the proposal of a 14.5-acre grow-op near Ennismore, which is pending Health Canada approval and would be located very close to a residential area.

Gord Duncan’s home backs onto the proposed grow-op that will be at 290 Cork Line.

“It’s too close. It’s 50 metres away,” Duncan said.  “The odor is the big problem because it can travel one to two kilometres and the only thing that can stop that is distance.”

Click to play video: 'Ennismore land owner vying for cannabis cultivation licence' Ennismore land owner vying for cannabis cultivation licence
Ennismore land owner vying for cannabis cultivation licence – Jan 21, 2021

Fifty metres from his property line is allowable under the current parameters of the bylaw.

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There are approximately 30 homes within a half kilometre of the proposed site.

Duncan says he and his neighbours aren’t against cannabis since it is legal, but don’t think a larger-scale grow-op should be allowed so close to their homes.

An email from the office of Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef to Global News Peterborough states, “our office is aware of the pending licence application in Ennismore and we have certainly shared the concerns of local residents with the Ministry of Health.

“Cannabis licencing applications are ultimately a regulatory process and I will note these applications have very strict standards, are closely regulated and very thoroughly reviewed.  If an application does not meet the strict standards required by Health Canada, it will not be approved.”

Selwyn Township deputy mayor Sherry Senis tells Global News Peterborough that when council originally approved its cannabis zoning bylaw, the township didn’t expect applications for grow-ops on smaller sized lots, but rather on larger acreage.

“Obviously that didn’t happen on Cork Line.   Now we are going back to make sure it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the township where it’s going to be  closer to residential areas,” Senis said.

Read more: $3.8M in illegal cannabis seized, 10 arrested at grow-op in Port Hope area: OPP

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Some of the changes council is looking at include changing the setback from residential lot lines from 50 metres to 300 metres as well as several other amendments, although whatever is decided won’t impact the application on Cork Line.

“The Planning Act doesn’t allow the township to apply the rules retroactively,” Senis added.  “It’s clear on that.  So, unfortunately, we have to stick to the old ones when it comes to Cork Line.”

Selwyn Township council is meeting on Tuesday night to gauge feedback from the public on amending the bylaw.

Staff will then take public comments, emails and letters and return with the final draft of the amended bylaw for approval on Sept. 7.

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