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NCL Council - Zoning for Cannabis still a concern

posted Jan 21, 2019, 9:03 AM by Kathy Carr
The Council of North Cypress-Langford met on Monday morning, January 14, with Reeve Adriaan­sen in the chair, and all councillors present except Jackson. Also present were CAO Jones, Development Officer McEntee, and Manager of Parks, Facilities and Sanitation Stephenson.

Finance and Accounts
With the agenda and previous minutes accepted, the accounts were referred to council, and cheques and direct deposits totaling $7,283,432.02 were approved for payment. The very large amount included the forwarding of the Education Tax levies to the four divisions serving the municipality.
An Interim Operating Budget was passed to bridge the time until the 2019 Financial Plan is adopted.

Planning Matters
Council has received a proposal to subdivide a yard site in SW 36-12-13 WPM just east of Edrans. I. & M. Buhler wishes to sever a 10.4-acre site from a 117.58-acre parcel present­ly owned by L. &M. Bauman. Though the site is slightly over the maximum size of 10 acres, that can be varied, and the remainder of the parcel is still well over the minimum size of 80 acres that the agricultural zoning requires. Council approved the subdivision, with conditions that a Conditional Use Order be granted for a rural non-farm dwelling; the necessary size variation be granted; and also a variation for the setback of one of the outbuildings.
Bill 19, the Planning Amendment Act, among other items raises the issue with regard to the threshold at which livestock producers must obtain a Conditional Use Order and it now gives a Municipality the ability to raise this threshold above the current Provincial 300 Animal Unit limit. This is also the limit and at which the requirement for a manure management plan and a technical review kicks in. At the moment, the North Cypress Zoning By-law puts the threshold at 250 Animal Units (AU), while the Langford By-Law puts it at 200 AU. The changes to the Planning Act are aimed at easing the restrictions on intensive livestock operations to boost the agricultural economy, but there are in this area some concerns about keeping the aquifer uncontaminated. This has led to the more conservative thresholds. Development Officer McEntee advised council that the new Cypress Development Plan will follow the provincial threshold of 300 AU. At this time Council moved to retain the current thresholds in their two Planning By-laws. When the new Development Plan has been approved and the Zoning By-Laws are reviewed the matter can be revisited. Provin­cial regulations have superseded most conditions that municipalities might earlier have made regarding the storage, handling and disposal of manure and only limited conditions regarding these items can be im­posed by the municipality. 
Zoning for cannabis is still a concern as the implications of legalization are considered. The municipality is in the process of amending the North Cypress Zoning By-Law to allow can­nabis sales as a Conditional Use in a General Develop­ment District. Provincial and federal regulations are framed with urban enterprises in mind, but Council enquired if cannabis sales could be considered as a permissible or conditional accessory use in an agricultural or rural residential zone? The Planning Officer was asked to look into this possibility — subject, of course, to the various licensing regulations that the federal and provincial governments may establish. On the matter of production of cannabis, the regulations and security concerns require that the production be in a ‘licensed facility’ which would normally be a greenhouse environment. As such, it would seem to fall under the heading of specialized agriculture, which is a simple permitted use of land in an agricultural zone. No changes would seem to be required but this would need to be verified. Pro­cessing of cannabis will be heavily regulated, and will probably be required to take place in an industrial zone.
When considering how and whether to permit certain uses of land, it is important to remember that if there is a ‘permitted use,’ then it is not required to come before council; if it is a ‘conditional use,’ then council may have control of how it takes place. A letter will be sent to Community & Regional Planning to get clarification of the necessary amendments to the Zoning By-laws.
Bob Dane had requested as early as 2017 that land he owns to the south of his present developments be re-designated from AG to Rural Residential, in order to set aside properties of 15 to 25 acres in size as acreages where animals might be kept, particularly horses, and hobby farms. At the time, Community and Regional Planning had previously informed the Planning District that it was not interested in approving additional RR designated lands around Carberry, because there was already a lot of land so designated to both the east of and west of town that was not taken up. They did not accept Mr. Dane’s contention that the uses and clientele were not similar. At the request of North Cypress-Lang­ford Coun­cil, the Plan­ning District offered to put the change into the new Develop­ment Plan on which they were working, but received strong opposition from the pro­vince as the draft copy of the Plan was passed around for comment. In order to smooth the passage of the Document, they withdrew their attem­pt to re-designate Dane’s land. Dane was notified of the change, and of the government’s opposition to the re-designation. Coun­cil agreed that Dane has been an effective developer, and that his assessment of the demand for the larger properties was likely accurate, but had to accept the opposition of Community and Regional Planning. Dane will be sent a letter advising him of the routes forward available to him after the Development Plan is in place.
Rod McLaren has asked council for permission to carry on a business repairing and certifying agricultural and heavy equipment and transport vehicles on land he leases from A&M Farms at the old Bar 5 site. The permission is required for MPIC to grant him a license to perform safety inspections. There are two forms under which such an occupation might be considered in an AG zone on an agricultural parcel. It must in either case be accessory to the primary agricultural use, which is not a problem. It may be a ‘home occupation,’ which is a permitted accessory use, and is restricted to the occupant(s) of the dwel­ling. Alternatively, it may be a ‘home-based business,’ which is a conditional use, and may have up to five employees, and is still required to be an accessory use to agriculture. In general Council was supportive of McLaren’s operation and the services it would provide to area residents and business, however based on Mc­Laren’s description of his operation they determined that it better fit the definition of a home-based business and as such any approval would be subject to him obtaining a Conditional Use Order.

Unfinished Business
Council approved the 2017 Audited Financials as presented by MNP at the December meeting. Blair expressed concern that the Audit was being approved on the basis of a draft before it was presented as final. The procedure will be examined at a later date; it is important that the audit be approved promptly, as the province apportions money only on the basis of a complete accepted audit.
The new recreation lands, which were purchased back in 2007, have seen little change. There was to have been a soccer field, and a campground, and there was a study done that arrived at a figure of $30 million for completion of a new facility. There have been several starts at fundraising for the facility, and there has been a levy on the tax bill that has put aside $60 thousand a year. That fund is presently at $900,000. It is high time that a plan was drafted for the future of recreation facilities, and Town Coun­­cil has asked that the matter be discussed at the next joint meeting. Stephen­son pointed out that it is almost impossible to make informed choices about the need for upgrades without a competent engineering study of the life expectancy of each of the components of the existing facility. He estimates such a study to cost about $15 thousand. He was encouraged to get a letter from the Rec Board requesting such a study to the Joint Coun­cils.
Waste Management has remained a difficult issue. The burning practises at the Transfer Station have been censured. All that may be burnt is tree waste and untreated lumber. Ply­wood and OSB may not be; they have to be treated as other construction waste and put in the bin. The number and thus the cost of bins will rise considerably, and more loads will have to be weighed and charged for. A covered space for hazardous waste such as paint, lights and batteries will have to be created, possibly a fabric shelter. There is some question whether the municipality can afford to run both the Carberry and Fairview transfer stations, especially if they each have different lists of things they can accept. Langford has reduced its number of sites from four to one, and the Brookdale and Wellwood sites are closed, but must be officially decommissioned, which may have costs associated. The province requires that a plan be in place by April 1, which isn’t far away.
Ray Drayson was confirmed in his appointment to the Evergreen board, with Fred Jackson as his alternate.
By-law 6/2018 will have to be repealed. It deals with the recreation special levies which did not prove to have the desired effect. Council directed its administration to make the preparations for the formal repeal.

General Business
Council added the assessment changes to the tax assessment roll, for a total gain of $21,063.14
The AMM is holding a training seminar for councillors in February. All councillors were app­roved to attend at a cost of $40 plus meals and mileage.
Council approved Grady Stephenson and Brianna Renwick to at­tend the Rec Connec­tions Conference in Winnipeg. Costs will include registration of $490 each, plus hotels for three nights, mileage and suppers. Costs will be shared 50/50 with the Town of Carberry.
Council will support the Hudson Bay Route Association with a contribution of $300.
Council approved payment of $602.01 as membership dues to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Properties whose taxes are in arrears since 2017 will be sold at auction to recover taxes and costs on October 2, 2019.
Councillor Drayson was appointed to the Friends of Camp Hughes Committee.
The CAO, the ACAO, and the Financial Officer were authorized to sign for the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford and sub board accounts.
The administration wanted to remind council and the public that there is a formal complaint procedure, and that if a letter of complaint is received that is unsigned, it cannot be acted on, no matter how justified it may be.
Council approved the purchase of a banner ad for the Manitoba Men’s Curling championship at a cost of $170 plus taxes.
Emergency Measures Officer Brad Wells was approved to attend the EMO Emergency Manage­­ment Training workshop January 31 in Brandon. Costs of mileage and lunch will be shared 50/50 with the Town of Carberry.
Foreman David Chand­ler will resign effective January 18, and Council accepted his resignation with regrets. His replacement, Darcy Saun­ders was hired effective January 14 as the new foreman, and his wages were set according to the collective agreement with the union.
As a procedural re­quirement, Council confirmed that the Carberry Plains Museum operates as a distinct entity under the authority of the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford.

Communications
The Examiner of Surveys sends word of the restoration of survey monuments along the hydro line at 28/33-9-13W, and at ¼N25-12-13W.
Wellwood Community Club sent a letter of concern about the special recreation levy as it applied in their area. This is a problem being ad­dres­sed; the approval of the repeal of the levy by-law was passed today.
Katie Cares, an organization that runs a respite home adjacent to Boun­dary Trails Hospital, asks for a per capita donation of support.
Spruce Plains Detach­ment of the RCMP sent its December Statistics.
Spruce Woods Junior Rifle Club is seeking to raise funds to send several teams to the provincial competition in Thomp­son. They will be asking for donations from the joint councils.
D. Chubak requests treatment of the road into Hylife Foods. His re­quest was forwarded to Neepawa.
Ronald McDonald House Charities are asking for a letter of support.
Jerry Godin Public Sector Partners are offering assistance in Asset Management. Their letter will be brought before Joint Councils.
The Premier’s Volun­teer Service Awards are looking for nominations for this year’s awards.
Multi-Material Steward­ship Manitoba, the organization which oversees recycling, advises that NCL will receive $39,931.98 in four installments for their recycling in 2018.
HAND, the organization that performs home support and Handivan services in Neepawa, asks for support for 2019. Coun­cil granted $500.
A group from Bois­sevain invites NCL to a meeting on January 31 to discuss local concerns in Manitoba’s rural southwest as will be brought before the AMM.
The Manitoba Good Roads Association will be holding their annual awards banquet on March 18 in connection with the MOS seminars at the Delta in Winnipeg.

Around the Table
Councillor Olmstead announced that the Wellwood Recreation Committee has set the date for the Wellwood Bonspiel as January 25-26, and the Poker Derby will be held on February 9.
Reeve Adriaansen wished to publicly thank Dave Chandler for his many years of service, and concur with the resolution expressing regrets to see him go.
Grady Stephenson noted that the committee preparing for the Fire Hall Expansion had taken on Councillor Ray Muirhead from the town, and asked if NCL would also send someone to them. Coun­cillor Harold Tolton accepted the position.
Stephenson also noted that he is presently listed as EMO Wells’s alternate, but that he has been promoted in the Fire Department, and will now have duties during an emergency that will prevent him from staying at the coordinating table with (or instead of) Wells. A new deputy EMO will have to be found.
The Building Com­mittee has met, and discussed the priorities for their usual $30,000 allotment. They identified as priorities the reshingling of the Municipal Office, at $9,000; repairs to the brickwork at the Museum for $6,500 +tax; repairs to the brickwork at the Library for $1,000 +tax; and $15,000 for a full renovation of one side of the ballpark washrooms (the next side to be done next year). This would more than spend the $30,000, but there was about $15,000 underspent last year, which would excuse the request for $35,000 this year. There are other projects bidding for the building committee’s attention if money is available: The parking lots on the new land next to the Municipal Office and between the CVM and HMS; the foundation of the Old Town Hall, and several other brickwork projects.
The Council went in camera at 1:45 to discuss personnel matters and came out of in camera to adjourn the meeting at 2:03 p.m.

by John McNeily
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