Rezoning application for Kingsville greenhouse to grow pot denied

It was a long council night in Kingsville where six rezoning applications for greenhouses to grow pot were up for discussion.

Coppola Farms Inc. is one of six greenhouses whose rezoning applications were in front of council Tuesday

Tony Coppola explains why he thinks council was wrong for denying his request to re-zone his land to allow for a medical marijuana greenhouse. 0:59

The rezoning application for a medical marijuana greenhouse within 200 metres of an athletic complex in Kingsville has been denied by town council.

If rezoned, the Coppola Farms Inc., would have been allowed to apply to become a licensed producer of cannabis.

Hundreds of people packed the council chambers to stress their dissatisfaction with the application. It was one of six that were up in front of council Tuesday night.

Council spent hours discussing Coppola Farms Inc. with hundreds of people lined up in the parking lot trying to attend the meeting.

Joanne Rivard lives near the location of Coppola Farms Inc. and she said people don't want the farm close to town.

"We know that this is a reality," she said. "But to have it in our backyard and have our children smell skunk smells all day long ... this can't happen."

The farm is about a five-minute drive away from the town hall.

The applicant, Tony Coppola, appeared at the meeting to defend his application along with his lawyer. 

No future plans

Coppola said the company is applying to re-zone the site without any current plans to apply for a license to produce cannabis, he told council. 

"We're just preparing ourselves ... obviously things are going on around us, so we don't want to miss the boat on it," he said.

Joanne Rivard says she can get a good night's sleep knowing that Coppola Farms Inc.'s application has been denied. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Coppola's lawyer said that a similar site has been re-zoned near the applicant's location and suggested Coppola Farms would appeal a decision to deny the request and likely win. 

Coppola said they believe council is treating him differently, after appearing at a previous council meeting where applications were approved. 

Election issue

Rivard, who spoke against the application at council on Tuesday, said council needs to decide what's right for the people — before reminding them it's election season. 

"Do the right thing. remember, some of us haven't voted yet," said Rivard, whose remarks were met with applause from the crowd.

The site in question sits 140 metres away from the town's arena and baseball field, with housing 75 metres away, according to a report from town manager Rob Brown. 

Coppola said he's been made out to look like a villain by council, despite nine other applications being approved by council to rezone for a potential medical marijuana greenhouse.