Taylor mulls microbrew, cannabis zoning

Taylor is looking to open up its zoning rules to let microbreweries, craft distilleries, and cannabis retailers do business in the district.

A local group of prospective investors has approached the district to open a craft brewery in Taylor, however, current zoning rules don’t allow for them. Chief administrative officer Andrew Young is proposing to allow a microbrewery to operate in commercial and service commercial zones, largely confined to 100 and 100A streets along the Alaska Highway.

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Distillery and cannabis retail uses are also proposed for those areas as part of a broader package of zoning amendments for council feedback and public consultation, Young said. Cannabis retailers would face proposed setback minimums from schools, daycares, parks, and churches.

“Some of the provisions put forward in the proposed bylaw are modelled on provisions that the City of Fort St. John developed, for cannabis retail in particular,” Young said.

The district's heavy industrial zoning allows for large-scale brewery and distillery operations.

The local beer investors are interested in a microbrewery for wholesale distribution and would include a tasting room. Property has yet to be secured, and the investors need to know there's local support before they invest, Young noted in a report to council.

Last year, Taylor council voted to ban legal cannabis sales and production in the district, punting the issue for reconsideration post-legalization.

“It’s just an idea staff have put to us about creating a bylaw with some of these (uses) in there. The real process will come after,” Mayor Rob Fraser said.

Council plans to gather feedback from residents at an upcoming open house at the community hall, scheduled for May.

“It’s a great topic for that sort of thing,” Fraser said.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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