City residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on a proposed zoning change that would allow a controversial new business in Red Deer.
On Monday, council voted to revisit an amending motion that would allow a federally-licensed medical marijuana facility to operate at 94 Burnt Park Drive.
The motion was defeated in a 4-4 split vote on July 4.
Coun. Paul Harris said there were extenuating circumstances that permitted council to bring the motion back to the table under the Municipal Government Act.
Harris said there were many questions that were left unanswered about the facility and a variety of information that was missing.
“We didn’t have any information about the ones that exist elsewhere in the province and the odour issue,” he said. “We talked about it a little bit but more importantly, we didn’t hear about the economic development statistics.”
Harris said there were also questions about industrial vacancy rates.
The first reading of the proposed amendment to the zoning bylaw is now tabled for up to six weeks.
It will allow administration time to respond to questions around zoning, economic development statistics, vacancy rates and odour.
There were also questions about whether such a facility should operate in light industrial or heavy industrial areas.
At the July 4 meeting, council denied any further discussion on the matter when the tie vote effectively quashed the motion on the floor.
Mayor Tara Veer did not vote because of a potential perceived conflict of interest. Veer said the company had approached her about the application before the council meeting.
Coun. Lawrence Lee said there was some confusion over process after he unsuccessfully tried to table a decision at the meeting.
“Certainly when we are trying to do economic development and diversification of the economy right now, we do not want to be losing a business to some place else,” said Harris.