Parksville city council news

Talk of pot facility, developments, environmental concerns and the PDBA

Provided Health Canada gives the thumbs up, the City of Parksville will receive $105,000/year in tax revenue from a medical marijuana production facility proposed for the industrial park, council heard Monday night.

The details of the deal between Wildflower Marijuana Inc. and the city were first revealed on pqbnews.com and in Tuesday’s edition of The NEWS in a story by reporter Candace Wu. The city’s chief administration officer, Fred Manson, put the details into the public record Monday.

The agreement, contingent on Health Canada approving a licence for Wildflower, would see the company purchase 14.5 acres of land from the city for $870,000, which Manson said was the current market appraised value. Manson also said the company would make $15 million in improvements on the land, which includes buildings and road work around the facility.

Wildflower has agreed to give the city a $20,000 non-refundable deposit.

Other news from council’s meeting Monday night:

• Coun. Sue Powell spoke about the members-only mixer hosted by the Parksville Downtown Business Association last week. The PDBA has been under fire in recent weeks from Craig Street merchants who want more attention paid to the beautification of their shopping area. There was no talk from any member of council on Monday night about that specific controversy, but Powell did talk about the event she attended last week.

“I think they (The PDBA) presented a lot of good information,” said Powell. “It’s clear how much work the PDBA has done — I think we get good bang for our buck.”

• There were two public hearings prior to the regular council meeting, addressing zoning changes on land around Joe Cunningham Ford dealership on Island Highway and the Lutheran Church, also on the Island Highway.

No one came forward to speak about the Ford lot expansion, but council was presented with a number of comments from an open house about the expansion, all of them in favour of the zoning bylaw changes.

Residents of Belson Avenue came forward to express concerns about the expansion (paving) of the Our Saviour Lutheran Church, mostly related to increased traffic. A church representative explained the request is to expand the lot to 72 spaces from the current 44.

• Council heard from three delegations on Monday night. Representatives of Communities to Protect Our Coast invited council to have a booth at its alternative energy fair in Qualicum Beach in May (The NEWS published a story about this event when the same group appeared before Qualicum Beach town council last week.) Later in the meeting Monday night, Coun. Mary Beil put forward a successful motion asking for the city to take part in the fair.

Oceanside Health Centre manager Sujata Connors provided council with an explanation of how the OHC has integrated health services in the region.

The Wilderness Committee’s Rhonda Murdoch appealed to council to pay more attention to the health of the old-growth forests and watershed areas in the region, even if they are outside the city’s boundaries.

• Council received a request from the North Island’s film commission, InFilm, for $2,500. Council decided to defer the request to budget deliberations coming in the next couple of months.

• The city will be looking to fill seats on its advisory design panel after renewing the terms of reference for the advisory group, which expired at the end of the previous council’s term.

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