Cindy Pendergast of Happy Buddha, here seen with her business partner Brad Styles in December 2019, said the entrepreneurs are trying to find a settlement with the Town of Sidney before a court hearing next month. Pendergast filed a legal challenge against Sidney, after the town had denied an application from her and Styles to open what would be Sidney’s first pot shop in the 2400 block of Beacon Avenue (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Legal fight over proposed Sidney pot shop pushed into February

Applicant says Happy Buddha application ready to licence if Sidney comes back to the table

The court case between the Town of Sidney and a duo of entrepreneurs looking to open the first recreational marijuana retail store in the community won’t get underway until next month.

“Yes, the hearing has been pushed back to some time in mid-February,” confirmed Randy Humble, Sidney’s chief administrative officer.

Cindy Pendergast launched the legal challenge against Sidney after the town denied her application, along with business partner Brad Styles, to open what would have been Sidney’s first pot shop. They applied to open in the 2400-block of Beacon Avenue, Sidney’s premiere shopping street.

Pendergast challenged the 4-3 vote against the application in early December with a hearing scheduled for the week of Jan. 13. But heavy snowfall that week delayed the hearing to the week of Feb. 18.

RELATED: Beacon Avenue pot shop dispute heading to court

The fate of the application hinged on reconciling two contrary requirements. While the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCRB) requires opaque window coverings, Sidney’s development permit guidelines require active – transparent – windows for Beacon Avenue, a point noted by councillors, who voted against the shop.

“This is about the look of downtown Beacon Avenue [as] an active and vibrant storefront,” said Coun. Barbara Fallot at the time. “I appreciate wholeheartedly your efforts to create a green wall in the window. Unfortunately, what I see is still a static display. It is not an active display.”

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

Pendergast’s lawyer told the Peninsula News Review late last year that Sidney cannot require Pendergast to do something that is against provincial law. “A municipal government cannot require what a provincial government prohibits,” said John Alexander of Cox Taylor Lawyers in Victoria, at the time. “Provincial law trumps local municipal law.”

Pendergast has since told the Peninsula News Review that the LCRB has deemed the application what she described as “fit and proper,” a designation that verifies Happy Buddha, the proposed name of the store, as 100 per cent ready to receive its licence — “if we can get Sidney back to the table.”

RELATED: UPDATED: Helijet cancels flights, campuses close as more snow expected for Greater Victoria


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read