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Delta to hold hearing on contentious industrial hemp farm

Hemp farm given federal permission without consultation with Delta
delta hemp farm - file
City staff say Delta is not required to compensate an owner if their property is considered to be 'down-zoned.'

The City of Delta will hold a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 26 on proposed measures against a controversial industrial hemp farm.

Council last month gave preliminary approval to a new urban interface agriculture zoning bylaw that would regulate farm uses at the Tsawwassen property.

The bylaw is squarely aimed at stopping the outdoor industrial hemp grow operation in the 5700-block of 6th Avenue, a 18-hectare (45-acre) site, formerly referred to as the Guichon property, but now owned by a numbered company.

The property, immediately east of the Forest by the Bay subdivision and adjacent to the Southlands and Beach Grove Golf Club, has a licence from Health Canada that allows the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp.

The city has been flooded with complaints from residents about the operation, which city officials say received its licence without consultation with municipal government, including asking whether the operation would conform to current zoning.

More stringent than a bylaw that had originally been considered for the site two years earlier, the regulations establishes additional prohibited activities such as the growing of industrial hemp, cannabis and even the construction of greenhouses.

Having written to Federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu about Delta’s concerns, Mayor George Harvie said he’s confident the bylaw will stand up to any legal challenge.

Staff note the bylaw should stand because the property is not on the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve and Delta has the authority necessary to rezone the property without the owner's consent.

The hearing takes place at 4 p.m. and can be viewed on the city’s website at: