Mission investigates anti-odour bylaw

Staff report to council expected next month

Mission is following the lead of Langley Township to develop a bylaw which allows the district to fine producers of smelly marijuana grow operations.

District staff have been in discussions with lawyers and is expected to bring a report to council next month, according to Mike Younie, Mission’s director of development services.

“The bylaw would be very simple and prohibit odours that interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy their own property,” said Younie. “Offences would need to be documented by several nearby neighbours.”

Council had directed staff to look into the issue last week.

“I think we need to take a look at it,” said Mayor Randy Hawes, who wanted to be able to add any fines related to the property onto the owner’s taxes.

Younie suggested the odour should not be limited to marijuana.

In 2013, there were more than 700 Health Canada licensed marijuana grow operations in Mission, according to the district, which received the numbers after submitting a freedom of information request.

Those licences were supposed to be phased out in favour of large commercial grow ops last April, but that has been held up by a Supreme Court challenge.

Last month, Langley Township approved a bylaw that allows the township to issue fines of $500 a day to operators of pungent grow ops.

The township is hoping to avoid a legal challenge of its new odour law because it falls within a municipality’s power over nuisances. The move doesn’t ban growers, but would require operations to have filters.

With files from Langley Times

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