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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT - Development permits

Friday, June 12, 2020 @ 5:40 AM  


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Appeal by the land owners from a decision of the Development Appeal Board dismissing their appeal from a development permit for a cannabis production facility and outdoor hemp cultivation. The appellants argued that the cannabis production facility did not comply with the Municipal Development Plan because the proposed location of the facility was in the Large Holdings Policy Area of the Agricultural General District and that the use of that policy area for a cannabis production facility contravened the Municipal Development Plan and the land use policies stated therein. The Board found that the proposed development, considered as a whole, conformed to the regulations of the Agricultural General District in the County’s Land Use Bylaw and was consistent with the Municipal Development Plan because the Land Use Bylaw trumped the Municipal Development Plan, the latter being merely aspirational. The Board found that the proposed development was within the contemplation of the Agricultural Large Holding’s Area of the Municipal Development Plan as it was an extensive agricultural operation.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The Appeal Board’s reasons were inadequate. Most of the Board simply concluded that the cannabis production facility was consistent with the Development Plan but failed to explain its interpretation that the Development Plan was simply aspirational and to deal with what was argued to be the inconsistency between the development and the County’s Municipal Development Plan and its Land Use Bylaw. The Board did also not address whether it considered this cannabis production facility to be large scale and whether the Development Plan required that it be developed in the Heartland Policy Area.

Mohr v. Strathcona (County), [2020] A.J. No. 535, Alberta Court of Appeal, F.F. Slatter, B.K. O'Ferrall and D. Pentelechuk JJ.A., May 6, 2020. Digest No. TLD-June82020009