The residents of a co-op building on Lonsdale Avenue are livid that City of North Vancouver council and staff would even consider putting a cannabis shop right at the entrance of their building.
The council recently sent six possible cannabis shops to a public hearing. A date for the public hearing hasn’t been declared, but the council will most likely hear loud and clear opposition from the residents of 315 Lonsdale Avenue — if it hasn’t already.
Even though the proposal is consistent with CNV’s new cannabis retail policy, councilors only need to browse through the notes and letters sent by the residents to get a sense of the shock and anger.
The proponent, Lonsdale Cannabis Co, believes the store would have a positive social impact because it would sway customers to switch from illegal to a legal venue to buy cannabis.
Resident Eiko Madsen thinks otherwise. In a letter to council, Madsen says her condo is right above the proposed cannabis store and she would like the council to reject the application. “I fear I will be unable to open my window due to the strong cannabis scent rising from the street. This is unacceptable,” she says.
Another resident, Elaine Sharp, says she doesn’t have anything against cannabis stores but they don’t belong to residential areas. “If the stores have to be restricted distance from schools, then shouldn’t they also be at restricted distance from residential homes where there are young children?” She says math classes and music lessons taught next to the proposed shop bring children to the area.
According to Marlene Tambeau, another resident, there are several families who live in the building and a store so close will have a detrimental effect on the families. Parking is already tight in the area, and the pot shop would only create more parking issues, she says.
Jeff Meszaros echoes her comments. He says the pot shop would cause extra traffic, noise, smell and increase crime in the area. There are several applications to open cannabis stores in North Vancouver, but not one of them is in a residential building, he notes.
“The one at 315 Lonsdale Avenue is the only one proposed in a residential building… YOU SHOULD NOT OPEN A MARIJUANA STORE IN A RESIDENTIAL BUILDING,” he wrote, using capital letters for emphasis.
Jim Strand, yet another resident, says the business would have a negative impact on the neighbourhood — and the property values. “It will, without doubt (and confirmed by local realtors), reduce our property values. New businesses like these should NOT be located in residential area.”
Odour from a cannabis store so close to home and impact on property values would bother resident Kyle Ownes too.