Weed and water will be on the agenda at this week's Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) conference in Vancouver thanks to the City of Chilliwack.
Municipal leaders will discuss more than 150 resolutions at the annual gathering, from speed limits to urban ungulates to motorized mobility scooters.
One of the two resolutions put forward by Chilliwack addresses the longstanding issue of funding for flood protection from higher levels of government.
The resolution asks UBCM to support a regional integrated approach to flood management in the province. Since the Fraser River flows through many communities, the cities argue that it makes little sense to approach flood management in the current, piecemeal fashion, community by community.
The UBCM resolution further asks for "dedicated multi-year senior government flood protection funding for associated studies and capital works that result from the program."
The resolution is likely to pass easily but may be just as likely to fall on deaf ears as the UBCM membership has endorsed similar resolutions eight times over the last 15 years.
The second resolution put forward by Chilliwack has to do with medical marijuana land use assessment and taxation.
The BC Assessment Act allows land with any type of municipal zoning to be classified as farm for assessment and taxation purposes. But because the city thinks marijuana production for medical purposes should be considered an industrial use, a resolution has been put forward to petition the provincial government to change the act so that land cannot be classified as farm for assessment and tax purposes if it is being used for medical marijuana production.
Further, the resolution states that farmland in B.C. should not be used for growing medical marijuana. The UBCM resolutions committee has noted that the Agricultural Land Commission has said that commercial scale marijuana growing would be a type of farming permitted in the Agricultural Land Reserve, regardless of municipal zoning.
The broader issue of how BC Assessment looks at land use when assessing properties came up recently in Chilliwack related to industrial users grazing livestock on land.
The practice came to light last fall when a local industrial landowner put alpacas and llamas on his property, which led to a 98 per cent reduction in property taxes.
Coun. Jason Lum told the Times that the city planned to amend its medical marijuana resolution on the floor this week to cover the so-called "llama loophole" issue.
The 155 resolutions considered this week is the fewest number at a UBCM convention in the last 10 years.
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