By Chris Pickup

Tony Dalimonte raised the thorny issue of marijuana grow-ops at council in committee today.

There is one in the works on Indiana Road, he said, and it’s raising a lot of concern among the neighbours, many of whom have been reading in the media about the recent armed home invasions at grow ops in Norfolk.

While recognizing those are a policing issue, Dalimonte wondered how the county could better protect grow-op neighbours from land use issues such as lighting, setbacks, ingress to and from the property and wear and tear on the roads.

He wanted to work with staff in presenting a notice of motion next Monday at council for a greater degree of protection for neighbours.

Rob Shirton, whose ward also has several up and coming grow ops, was concerned about the “obnoxious smell”.  He wondered about minimum setbacks for the operations.

Dalimonte is also getting a lot of input on retail sites, with one apparently proposed for downtown Hagersville. Bernie Corbett said there has been interest shown in Dunnville, too, if the county decides to opt in.

A report is being prepared by county staff for the December meeting, outlining the pros and cons of opting in or out of retail, with draft regulations and zoning provisions coming in January when council has to inform the province of its decision.