Two pot shops get a 'yes' in CNV, three get a 'maybe' in DNV

Two pot shops got a green light and two went down in flames in the City of North Vancouver Monday while three cannabis shops advanced to public hearing in the District of North Vancouver.

Rejection was swift in the case of Herb Garden, which would have opened shop at 142 East Second Street.

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The proposal “represents good planning,” according to a report by city development planner David Johnson.

However, following a question-and-answer period, council voted unanimously to abandon the project without discussion.

Coun. Holly Back previously noted complaints from neighbours of the illegal Lotusland pot shop in Lower Lonsdale and said she was uncomfortable with cannabis dispensed near North Shore Neighbourhood House and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting location.

Following a two-minute debate period, council also voted against allowing Cannabis Boutique at 1520 Lonsdale Ave., which would have taken over the spot occupied by a retail store and Post Office.

“I do feel like they’ve met all the policy requirements,” said Coun. Jessica McIlroy.

Back agreed, suggesting it would be a nice storefront and noting the shop was near transit.

However, the application was defeated 3-2 with Mayor Linda Buchanan, Coun. Angela Girard and Coun. Tina Hu voting against the project.

Mike Fournogerakis, who also owns Jack Lonsdale’s Pub, had better fortune Monday as council voted unanimously to approve his application for Lonsdale Cannabis at 1433 Lonsdale Ave.

The application received strong criticism from Hatz Hair Design president Shaun Mitha.

In a letter to the city, Mitha warned of falling property values and described late-night parties, smoking, littering, misuse of parking, public drinking and urination “and the attraction of panhandlers and addicts into our garage seemingly related to the pub and liquor store.”

To support those criticisms, Mitha sent several photos of cigarette butts and beer cans nearby and in the garage.

While Buchanan noted that she expects all business owners to honour the good neighbour agreement, she concluded Lonsdale Cannabis meets the city’s policy requirements.

“I have no problem with seeing it move forward,” she said.

Council also approved an approximately 2,200 square-foot shop at 820 Marine Drive in the site formerly occupied by unlicensed dispensary Weeds.

The store’s nearness to bus routes and distance from residential area make it a fitting location, said Hu.

“I don’t have any concerns at this point.”

Quantum 1 Cannabis proprietor Russ Rossi promised the shop would have security cameras inside and outside.

“Imagine a super expensive jewelry store – and then double it,” he told council.

The two successful applications need one more vote for official approval.

Couns. Tony Valente and Don Bell did not attend the meeting.

Over at Queens Road, district council agreed to send pot shops at 1074 and 1199 Marine Drive to an April 7 public hearing without discussion.

District staff recommended rejecting a proposal at 1629 Marine Drive but, speaking on behalf of applicant the Donnelly Group, Bert Hick requested more time to find some parking spots.

“We think we can solve this within the next 30 days,” he said.

“You have a boulder to push up a hill,” Coun. Lisa Muri replied.

However, council ultimately agreed to send that project to public hearing as well.

“Please don’t take that as a signal that we’re satisfied with the parking proposal as it is right now,” said Mayor Mike Little.


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