West Kelowna  

Gov't cannabis store advances at West Kelowna council

Public gets say on pot store

An application for a government cannabis store in West Kelowna has cleared another hurdle.

Council on Tuesday voted 5-1 to rezone the property in the Westbank Town Centre Mall on Dobbin Road.

Only Coun. Doug Findlater voted against.

Findlater reiterated his objection that allowing the government store would mean six stores would be operating in the city when council had initially determined four was the ideal number.

"I don't want us to be overrun by these things," said Findlater. "It looks crappy. It really doesn't present a very good image to certain parts of the public."

Council initially voted down the application in a 3-3 vote, but when it was brought back for reconsideration, it was narrowly approved 4-3, with Coun. Rick de Jong, who was absent for the first vote, casting the deciding vote.

Two of those who cast initial dissenting votes, councillors Carol Zanon and Jason Friesen, voted in favour Tuesday, saying the change was due to the motion at hand which was zoning, and not their overall feeling of the application itself.

Staff said the application met the zoning requirement.

"This is one of the tough things about being a councillor," said Zanon. "It's completely against what I feel in my somewhat rigid standards. I will OK my vote for this to go forward. Let's see what the public has to say about it."

The school district is expected to weigh in when the application goes to a public hearing.

The proposed store is located near George Pringle Elementary School, however, it is outside the city's 100-metre guideline.

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