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A by-law is the tool that municipalities use to control land use and outline what uses are allowed where within the Township. Given that Cannabis is a legal product, municipalities throughout Canada are making decisions on how and where Cannabis can be grown and produced within their municipal boundaries. These land use controls are largely being implemented in response to public concerns regarding odour, safety and proximity of cannabis to sensitive land uses, like homes and schools.
The proposed amendments look to control the growth and production of cannabis from a land use perspective in the same way that industrial or residential uses are controlled. It will describe where and how people or companies can grow and/or process Cannabis in the Township of Scugog.
What is the proposed approach to regulating cannabis production facilities?
As the impacts from hemp operations are similar in nature to those associated with cannabis facilities (ie. light, odour, etc), hemp is proposed to be treated the same as cannabis.
Cannabis Production Facilities will be subject to Site Plan Control. An Air Quality Study/Odour Impact Assessment, Lighting/Photometric Assessment and Functional Servicing Report would be required among other study and plan requirements. Proposals would also be required to demonstrate compatibility with surrounding land uses and no impact on wells in the area, in addition to other criteria.
All indoor facilities would be required to have air treatment control to help address odour and would be required to be a minimum of 150 metres from Residential, Community Facility (CF), Recreation (RE), Open Space (OS) Zones and sensitive land uses (ie. residential use or dwelling unit, a day care centre, a public or private School, a place of worship, a hospital, a public or private park and an institutional use).
All outdoor facilities would be required to be a minimum of 300 metres from the nearest Lot Line of a sensitive land use. For the purposes of this policy, the cultivation of cannabis within a hoop house would be considered an outdoor facility.
These separation distances would be measured from the edge of the nearest building or crop line associated with the Cannabis Production Facility to the nearest lot line of a sensitive land use or the nearest zone boundary.
Accessory retail sales are proposed to be permitted within a Cannabis Production Facility but limited to 50 square metres (538 square feet).
A building or structure used for security purposes is proposed to be permitted in the front yard at least 2 metres from all lot lines but limited to 20 square metres (215 square feet).
Within Employment Areas:
Cannabis Production Facilities are proposed to be permitted within Industrial designations, specifically within the Prestige Industrial, General Industrial and Rural Industrial Zones.
Cannabis Production Facilities are only proposed to be permitted indoors within a building in the Industrial designations. Greenhouses, outdoor cultivation and outdoor storage would not be permitted.
Within Agricultural Areas:
Cannabis Production Facilities are proposed to be permitted within the Agricultural Designation and Agricultural and ORM-Agricultural zones.
Cannabis Production Facilities are proposed to be permitted within a building or grown outdoors.
Outdoor storage would not be permitted.
Any buildings or structures used in association with a Cannabis Production Facility having a cement-based foundation are proposed to be limited 500 square metres.
An indoor Cannabis Production Facility that does more than just grow cannabis (ie. drying, processing, testing, storing, packaging, etc) would only be permitted in the Agricultural Zones if cannabis is grown/cultivated on the same site.
An interim control by-law is a tool available to Ontario municipalities in accordance with the Planning Act. It allows for an opportunity to place a temporary pause on development of certain lands while a municipality studies or reviews land use policies. The restriction can only be imposed for a one year period, with a maximum extension of a second year.
What about operators who are in the process of establishing a cannabis facility?
Prospective applicants who have not yet secured a Health Canada licence will not be permitted to establish a new cannabis production facility in the agricultural area until such time as the interim control by-law has been repealed and compliance with the Township's Zoning By-law has been established.
There is no ability to appeal an interim control by-law when it is first passed, however, an extension to the by-law may be appealed.
Any person or public body may appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) in respect of the extension of the Interim Control By-law by filing with the Clerk of the Corporation of the Township of Scugog, no later than 4:30 p.m. on August 27th, 2021 a notice of appeal. The notice of appeal must set out the reasons for the appeal and an appeal fee in the amount of $1,100.00 must accompany each appeal filed (payable to the Minister of Finance). A copy of the appeal form is available from the OLT website at http://olt.gov.on.ca/tribunals/lpat/forms/appellant-applicant-forms/
Only individuals, corporations and public bodies may appeal an interim control by-law to the Ontario Land Tribunal. A notice of appeal may not be filed by an unincorporated association or group. However, a notice of appeal may be filed in the name of an individual who is a member of the association or the group on its behalf.
Any proposed Official Plan Amendment or Zoning By-law Amendment resulting from the Township-initiated process may be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal.