A Red Deer County appeal board has overturned council’s rejection of a huge proposed cannabis production complex.
The county’s municipal planning commission turned down the 190,000-square-foot multi-building production facility proposed for Blindman Industrial Park, just west of Red Deer, in March after nearby homeowners voiced their opposition. The planning commission is comprised of all of council.
Residents feared the complex would smell, reduce property values and attract crime.
Calgary-based Sevenz Consulting appealed and the county’s subdivision and development appeal board heard from those for and against the project on May 2.
In its decision, the board says a cannabis production facility is appropriate in a Business Service Industrial District and the proposal meets the standards set out in the county’s Land Use Bylaw.
The board says it considered the odour concerns, but determined they should not be a problem if approval conditions are met.
“Based on the evidence presented to it, the board concluded that the proposed development is not likely to emit any odours outside of an enclosed building,” the board says in its decision issued Friday.
Examples of odour problems at existing facilities primarily involved greenhouse-type facilities, says the board.
“The proposed development is different in nature from these existing facilities.”
The board found that evidence presented also did not prove that neighbouring property values would be affected.
Likewise, crime and water concerns were not backed up.
“The board found the concerns expressed about the potential for increased criminal activity and negative impact on the aquifer were speculative and unsupported by the evidence.”
One of the residents who opposed the project expressed unhappiness with the decision but did not comment further.
A Sevenz Consulting representative could not be reached for comment.
The facility must meet 24 conditions for approval, including that the facility not emit nuisances, “including but not limited to odour, noise and light, that may have a negative impact to adjacent sites or the surrounding area.”
A detailed list of measures to eliminate odours must be complied with, including double insulated and sealed walls, negative ionic air circulators, grow rooms with negative pressure to isolate odours, air showers between rooms, carbon filtration systems at exhaust points, high-efficiency scrubbers and a 100 per cent natural oil air injector, which is designed to remove odours that pass rooms or carbon filtration systems.