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Land Use Bylaw amended for cannabis legalization

Council met for it’s regularly scheduled meeting on May 14

Eckville Town Council gave the second and third reading to the amended Land Use Bylaw at a recent meeting of Council.

The amended bylaw was to add requirements and stipulations for cannabis before the upcoming federal legalization of the substance.

The previous bylaw did not address cannabis related uses, and the Town intends to regulate and control the substance “in the interest of public health and safety.”

The updated bylaw includes definitions for cannabis, cannabis lounge, cannabis production and distribution as well as cannabis retail.

In the sections of agricultural operation, commercial greenhouse, neighbourhood convince store and retail commercial use the bylaw states cannabis retail and the production and distribution of cannabis is not included in their definitions.

A public hearing was held prior to the second and third reading of the bylaw. However, no one was present to give a statement either for or against it. Town Administration also did not receive any written statements for the public hearing.

Code of Conduct

A big point of discussion during the May 14 meeting was around the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.

This is a new requirement for municipal councils, and needs to be in place by this summer, according to the Municipal Government Act.

“It was one of our longer meetings, we went until about 10 p.m. because we had a lot to talk about,” said Mayor Helen Posti.

Public Participation Bylaw

Mayor Posti said the Public Participation Bylaw was another major point of conversation at the meeting.

Council gave a first reading to the bylaw.

This bylaw also includes methods of advertisement to be used for proposed bylaws, public hearings, resolutions and meetings. These methods can include the Town website, Facebook and even a bulletin board.

This bylaw also includes the option for residents and taxpayers to voluntarily sign up for a mail out option and an email distribution option.

“This would provide an option for people who are not using the internet and social media,” the council package reports.

Parkland Community Planning Services

The Town of Eckville was invited to join the discussion on creating a regional “subdivision and development board.”

Eckville is not part of Parkland, but Council discussed the possibility.

“It will be interesting to see what it would look like to have a board like this in place,” said Posti.

There are two dates currently scheduled for the service discussion, one in Ponoka on May 30 and another in Innisfail on May 31.

The next meeting of council will be held on May 28.

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