Operators of a cannabis production facility east of Simcoe have been fined $40,000 for violating Norfolk’s zoning bylaw regarding odour, light and set-back requirements for residential areas.
In its decision, the court cited the fact that the facility operated 493 days after the initial bylaw charge without altering its practices as an aggravating factor. In addition to the $40,000 fine, the court levied a $10,000 victims’ surcharge.
“The county is pleased the court recognized that the defendant’s decision to continue operating for so long post-charge – while allowing a pungent smell to permeate their neighbours’ homes and bright lights and noisy equipment to disrupt their lives — was deserving of a significant penalty,” Norfolk solicitor Paula Boutis said in a news release on Jan. 21.
“This fine sends a clear message to cannabis producers and processors that we expect them to respect our zoning bylaws and apply for all needed planning permissions, including site plan approval, prior to operating.”
Health Canada has been aware of the production facility for several years and has furnished the operators with the required production permits.
The facility’s operators pleaded guilty to charges of violating the set-back requirements of the county’s zoning bylaw, said the release. In so doing, the facility admitted to odour, dust and light complaints that were referred to Norfolk County for resolution.
The facility will not be permitted to operate again until it has proven to the county that appropriate mitigation measures for odour, dust and light pollution are in place.