Cindy Pendergast has filed a petition against the Town of Sidney after councillors denied her application to open a retail cannabis store on Beacon Avenue. The issue boils down to two opposing requirements from the Province and Town when it comes to window displays. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Cindy Pendergast has filed a petition against the Town of Sidney after councillors denied her application to open a retail cannabis store on Beacon Avenue. The issue boils down to two opposing requirements from the Province and Town when it comes to window displays. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Hopeful Sidney pot shop owner challenges town in court after application denied

A court petition has been filed against the Town of Sidney

A proposed Sidney pot store is filing a petition after councillors denied an application for the store to set up on the Town’s main street.

Cindy Pendergast and her business partner hope to open Happy Buddha Cannabis in the 2400-block of Beacon Avenue but her application to do so has not been able to pass due to two opposing requirements.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) requires opaque window coverings for recreational cannabis stores. However, Sidney’s development permit guidelines for Beacon Avenue businesses require transparent windows with active displays.

“Although Sidney amended a bylaw saying the business is allowed on Beacon Avenue, we’ve run into this window roadblock,” Pendergast said. “It was the final step and it was so shocking because we had such positive conversations until now.”

READ ALSO: Sidney’s first-ever pot store application flames out before council

The Town adopted a policy in August that said all stores on Beacon Avenue must have transparent windows. Pendergast said she and her partner were in talks with the province and the Town to come up with a solution that worked for both governing bodies. They came up with the idea of a living wall window display that would be both active and non-transparent.

A rendering of the living wall that was proposed for Happy Buddha Cannabis’ store window. The LCRB approved this design as opposed to an opaque window and Pendergast proposed the design to Sidney Council. (Courtesy of Cindy Pendergast)

Pendergast said a rendering of the wall was was commissioned and sent to the LCRB. It was the first time the Branch approved a window display like it and did so the day of the council meeting so it could be available for council to consider.

“We submitted it because we thought it was beautiful enough for Beacon Avenue as it is lively, very appealing and met the LCRB’s fully non-transparent requirements,” Pendergast said.

Now, Pendergast has acquired legal services to challenge Sidney council’s decision.

Her lawyer, John Alexander of Cox Taylor Lawyers in Victoria, said Sidney cannot ask that Pendergast do something that is against provincial law.

READ ALSO: Owners of denied pot store in Sidney have not ruled out legal action

“A municipal government cannot require what a provincial government prohibits,” Alexander said. “Provincial law trumps local municipal law.”

Pendergast said she and her partner cannot understand why the window is becoming such a roadblock. They have put about $40,000 into the business expecting the last approval with the Town would work out.

Members of the public and businesses have also favoured the application, Pendergast added.

“We have done everything council has wanted us to do,” Pendergast said. “We’re nice people… it’s going to be a really nice store so our hope is that we can complete the application process successfully and continue to work with Sidney positively.”

According to Alexander, the petition will now work its way through the court process and is tentatively scheduled to be heard in the second or third week of January 2020 at the Victoria Supreme Court of B.C.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VIDEO: Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read