Ponoka County could see a retail cannabis shop open up when the drug becomes legalized next month.
Green Nation Naturals had its development permit approved at the Sept. 11 council meeting. The zoning for the property has been designated direct control and council must approve any development on the land.
CAO Charlie Cutforth explained the permit outlines requirements for water and sewage handling — as well as building plans for the property, which is located on the north side of 1st Street on Samson Avenue right across Highway 2A from Maskwacis.
“Getting permit approval is part of the process the company must follow and this does not put them in business,” he told council.
“There is a lot of AGLC (Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission) regulatory processes to go through and no one is sure who they will ultimately approve for licences or how long that process will take.”
Reeve Paul McLauchlin explained as long the company meets the county’s requirements, the rest of it is up to the AGLC.
After years of passing bylaws to deal with separate requests, council has approved a noise bylaw that will encompass all of the county’s residential subdivisions.
“We’ve long received requests from RCMP and citizens regarding excessive noise, but there was no enforcement ability, so council over time has passed individual bylaws for various subdivisions. There was another recent request from both the RCMP and a citizen,” Cutforth stated.
“So, instead of continuing to create separate bylaws, it was decided to bring forth one that includes all multi-lot subdivision and give the RCMP a way to deal with situations.”
Essentially anyone causing or allowing loud, unnecessary or unusual noise that annoys, disturbs, endangers, injures or detracts from the comfort, health, peace or safety of others at any time of the day may face a charge under this bylaw. The maximum fine for a conviction under the bylaw is $500.
After years of no contributions, Ponoka County will be speaking with the Town of Bashaw to explore options about the possibility of providing funds to that community’s arena operation.
A letter from Bashaw asking for talks on the idea was briefly discussed at the Sept. 11 meeting, with the biggest questions being how many residents actually use that facility and what other area municipalities — the counties of Camrose and Lacombe — currently contribute.
The county does contribute operating and capital funds for the Bashaw Fire Department, as it covers much of the eastern portion of Ponoka County.
Council also approved a request from Chris Bruhn to rezone land along Range Road 14 just west of the Sunnyside subdivision on Gull Lake.
Bruhn stated there is no current plan to redevelop the land, but that he wanted the rezoning done in order to plan for the long term.
Meanwhile, a non-resident request to lease municipal reserve land at Viewmar Estates — about 14 kilometres northwest of Rimbey — was turned down after council learned the individual simply wanted to use it for recreational purposes.
“That’s definitely not an approved use and I don’t think anyone would want to deal with what could come out of that,” noted Cutforth in his recommendation to deny the request.