No grow ops, says village

Concern over loss of property tax revenue is prompting local governments to ban medical marijuana production facilities.

header - Midway council

At their April 22 meeting Midway Council voted to prohibit medical marijuana production facilities within the village. The City of Pitt Meadows had sent a letter to all municipalities expressing their concern that BC Assessment Authority has stated that medical marijuana production facilities may be taxed at farm rates regardless whether they are located on agricultural land or not.

Council instructed staff to prepare amendments to the zoning bylaw that would prohibit medical marijuana grow ops within the village because of the revenue implications.

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Owen Stewart of Greenpeaks Resource Management provided council with an overview of the company’s 2014 plan regarding rental of village property.

He said the planting crew is down this year from 28 planters to 14 and they will once again be staying in the Riverfront Park, and utilizing the space behind the arena.

GRM has been renting camping space, access to arena facilities and the museum bunkhouse through the planting season for the past few years and this meeting was to make sure both parties were up to speed on the current situation.

Stewart thanked Council for having them back, and in turn Council thanked him for staying in town and supporting local businesses through GRM.

The crews use two showers and bathrooms plus power for the fridge, freezer and lights.

Stewart said he anticipates the number of planters should be back up in two years.

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Staff will amend the Procedures Bylaw for Council Meetings to move the in-camera portion to the end of meetings, and allow for a 6:30 pm start time if there is a delegation. Council felt that the 30 minutes set aside for in-camera meetings before their regular meeting restricted their ability to fully discuss in-camera items.

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A written request for a comfort letter from Norm Sabourin was turned down. The letter would have allowed a fence to remain on the south side of his property.. The fence sits 60 cm (2 feet) onto the lane right-of-way.

Sabourin is selling the property and wanted to have the letter on file to protect the new resident. Sabourin explained they had purchased the house in 1993 with the fence already in place and had no idea that the fence was sitting on village property. About eight years ago, they replaced the fence but used the original ground support brackets for new posts assuming they were in the right place.

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Council voted to send letters supporting the position of the Okanagan Basin Water Board that the Government of Canada move quickly to pass regulations prohibiting transport of invasive zebra and quagga mussels into Canada and that funds be allocated to train, and equip Canada Border Agents to inspect boats for invasive aquatic species and prohibit their entry into the country.

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The village will reply to a letter from BC Emergency Health Service clarifying the fact that council has not yet taken a position on the changes to the Resource Allocation Plan (RAP). This plan sets out the protocol for emergency response as determined by the type of injury or situation that prompted the call for emergency medical services.

A meeting was held in February with BCEHS to discuss recent RAP changes and a letter had been sent to the village with the comment, “I am pleased to see you are supportive of the RAP changes.”

Councillor Marguerite Rotvold made a motion that the village clarify their position.

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Peter and Merle Kappes have asked the village to consider allowing them to purchase a portion of Palmerston Avenue in front of The Spot as they are planning to upgrade the pump island. Mayor Randy Kappes left the room while council discussed the issue.

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The Midway Partnership Fund (MPF) AGM will be held on Tuesday, May 6 at the Midway Curling Club at 7 p.m. A representative from the Boundary Phoenix Foundation will be there with a short presentation about what Foundations can do for the community and what residents can do to help. The MPF distributes funds to projects that focus within the geographical area of the Village of Midway and are designed to benefit a maximum number of people in the Midway area.