Council approves rezoning for Riverstown cannabis production facility

KENILWORTH – Wellington North councillors have given the go-ahead to a rezoning application to allow a cannabis production facility in Riverstown.

Addressing council on April 29, Mayor Andy Lennox noted Eric Beamish owns the land at 7294 Sideroad 5 West, in former Arthur Township.

The property is approximately 1.17 hectares (2.9 acres) in size and located in a rural industrial area within the hamlet of Riverstown, between Kenilworth and Mount Forest.  The property is adjacent to agricultural land.

The purpose of the site specific zoning amendment is to rezone the property to permit the indoor cultivation of cannabis. 

The facility proposed on the site, a new 743m2 (8,000ft2) industrial building, is subject to federal legislation and would be licenced by Health Canada.

Wellington County senior planner Michelle Innocente said the facility “brings an agriculture use into an industrial area.”
She added work on the property is subject to site plan control because it is a new development.

The processing component of the operation is permitted under the existing rural industrial zoning, but indoor cultivation of cannabis, an agricultural use, requires a zoning bylaw amendment.   

Innocente told council the planning department has no objections to the proposed amendment, though the facility requires  Health Canada approval to proceed. 

“We note that facility will be entirely indoors, and will include typical components associated with an industrial use such shipping, receiving, loading, truck and employee traffic, deliveries, etc., which are appropriate in an industrial area,” said Innocente.

“The inclusion of indoor cultivation is compatible in a rural industrial area and involves many of the same supportive activities.” 

The Cannabis Act includes site design requirements for security and air quality.   

Innocente’s report states the applicant has indicated water for the facility will be provided by a well on the property and a septic system will be used to handle wastewater. 

She added that, according to the applicant, the facility will not require large volumes of water or generate large volumes of wastewater (from cleaning and bathroom use only).

Council members later passed the bylaw.