Grand Forks city council voted unanimously on Monday to reconsider a cannabis retail store’s application for a development variance permit to operate at 7500 Donaldson Dr. The location sits less than 40 metres from James Donaldson Park, which is designated as a “Community Use” zone. As such, pot shops are not permitted with 100 metres, as per Grand Forks rules.
Weeds Glass & Gifts was denied a variance needed to operate at that location in July, when council voted 4-3 to deny the permit. Mayor Brian Taylor and Couns. Neil Krog and Chris Moslin opposed the rejection.
Weeds then filed a legal petition against the city in August, claiming that the July decision was “invalid for lack of procedural fairness.” The petition, which was put on hold in September, alleges that council’s decision to deny Weeds the permit was coloured by the building’s use as a warming centre, which, the petitioners say, was “a heated issue with the City and created a bias in the council members’ decision, even though it should have been a factor unrelated to the decision and the report decision.”
Council’s move on Monday was meant to restart the process on a clean slate, on the advice of the city’s lawyers.
“This would be an important strategy in helping to deal with the Weeds suit of the city,” Coun. Chris Moslin said of the unanimous decision. “It would be a way of saving legal costs but it would not commit council to passing the development variance permit.”