Zone change for cannabis dispensary denied by Woodstock council

A proposed pot shop won’t be setting up shop just outside of Woodstock’s downtown core after city council denied its zone-change application.

Council rejected an application to permit a zone change at 801 Dundas St. – across from the YMCA – from commercial to special commercial to allow for retail uses, something not normally permitted by the zoning for the site.

But surprisingly, the issue with the proposed pot shop wasn’t the cannabis, but the retail: the county’s official plan prefers retail uses in the downtown while larger commercial uses that attract more traffic, such as big box stores, are better suited for peripheral areas.

“In light of the policy direction of the official plan to direct professional, retail and business offices to the central area first, and only permit business uses in service commercial areas that have demonstrated that they are not suited to the central area … planning staff are of the opinion that the proposed cannabis retail store on the subject lands does not comply with the general intent and purpose of the official plan,” staff said in their report.

According to the staff report, the zoning on at 801 Dundas St. is meant to accommodate…

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