During last night’s Town Council meeting, a motion to implement an Interim Control By-law regarding cannabis operations in Fort Erie was presented by Councillor Noyes. An Interim Control By-law essentially prevents or limits new development or land uses from taking place until such time as the completion of a planning study for the area to which it applies. Mayor Redekop and Councillor Butler declared a conflict of interest at the beginning of the meeting and did not participate in the discussion or vote on the proposed Interim Control By-law motion.
The motion drew a large crowd with 13 registered delegates speaking for and against the proposed motion. The delegates who spoke in front of Council varied from local residents, business owners and cannabis industry experts. Following a lengthy discussion, Town Council rejected the motion to implement an Interim Control By-law regarding cannabis operations with a recorded vote of 3-2.
Further into the Council Meeting, Councillor Zanko brought forward a motion for Town Council to consider hiring a consultant to provide a study specific to the cannabis industry and on planning policies with respect to rural, agricultural and industrial land. Town Council unanimously voted in favour of the motion; thus directing staff to provide a supplementary budget item for a consultant at the Jan. 22 Council-in-Budget Committee meeting where Town Council will be discussing the General Levy Operating Budget.
On Jan 20 I attended meeting. I am a local retired citizen who has no stake in the cannabis industry. I was very impressed by the knowledge presented by the experts in the cannabis field. It was a lively session and drama packed that carried on for over 6 hours. These are desperate times for our local industry and our youth are leaving town to get jobs. My concern was if we followed the plan of other cities in our region we ARE sending the message that we are closed for business and a spin off is it appears that we are too old fashion to identify new industry…would we have turned aware the computer world ..HAD THEY COME TO Fort Erie.
I think the study is the way to go ..keep the doors open and if 1 new company comes because of this you have done your job.
Excellent job by all…thank you Sandra Watts