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.