Public meeting over cannabis grow-op in Upper Coverdale gets testy
MONCTON -- The debate over a proposed cannabis grow-op facility in the Upper Coverdale area of greater Moncton has taken a personal turn.
Some of the hundred or so people at a public meeting Wednesday night criticized the young couple who have applied to rezone their property to expand their pot production plans.
"It's an extremely hostile environment, and I get everybody's upset and everyone has emotions, but there's something we also have in our community, and it's called respect," said one resident who attended the meeting.
More than 100 people attended the public hearing to voice their concerns over a proposed cannabis production plant.
"We want to feel respected and heard and I don't," said a woman who attended the meeting. "I feel this is a done deal."
Gina Brown and her partner Jared are hoping to build a small facility on their property, which is zoned agricultural.
They're applying to have that changed to commercial-industrial, but some of their neighbours don't like it, and after the reaction on Wednesday night, Brown questioned the wisdom of holding the public hearing.
"By doing a public hearing, you've scared everyone into, 'We're going to put up the next Organigram,'" Brown said. "So, just by doing a public hearing, you've set an angry mob up and you've turned my community against me."
Concerns from the group ranged from air and water quality, to property values and odour.
"I don't expect to come out to my property and smell an auto-body shop, a french fry fryer, or a cannabis production facility," said Joy Martel, an Upper Coverdale resident.
One man at the meeting suggested the best place for an operation like this is in an industrial park.
A planner with the Southeast Regional Service Commission says he'll be giving a positive recommendation for the rezoning application to be approved.
"I did make my recommendation already, but I'm obviously taking these concerns into account," said planner Josh Adams.
Adams says, following Wednesday night's meeting, his group will be going back to the property to do follow-up testing.
"It's not like a one-and-done kind of thing, like that's what they said, we'll always make sure that we're working with these departments to ensure that everything is done properly," Adams said.
The final say on the matter will be made by New Brunswick Minister of Environment Jeff Carr, who has until June 14 to make his decision.