Change is in the Wind

June 01, 2018 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Mat Vaughan, RPP | Cannabis, Cannabis Planning Policy, Policy
Change is in the Wind
Can you imagine living next to 10,000 skunks?  For some Ontario residents, this is their new reality.
 
In the summer of 2018, the federal government will legalize the recreational use of cannabis. In Ontario, the proposed legislation is being tabled under the Ontario Cannabis Act; new provincial legislation that would support the province's transition to the federal legalization of cannabis.
This change in federal legislation will have land use planning implications in relation to the retail sale of cannabis, and the agricultural production and processing of cannabis materials.
As planners it is important we understand how the plans we create and implement have a real impact on both property owners and municipalities who rely on accurate property assessments to generate tax revenues. By virtue of their nature, planning policies, which regulate or restrict land uses, have the potential to drastically influence the value of properties.
Spring 2011. I began volunteering with my community Farmers' Market in Leslieville, Toronto. This community event happens every Sunday from May to October in the Johnathan Ashbridges parkette. The Market provides a weekly hub for food, arts, culture and education. Each week there is music, a children’s program, and local merchants and farmers sell quality goods and services. The Market was created by three community members and has developed significantly over time. Each Sunday, the Market attracts roughly 2000-2500 people. This was not always the case, and that growth had Market Director Daniel Taylor and I, questioning the effects; The popularity consuming the Market begged the question: Is this Farmers' Market making a difference in the community?
Most North American cities continue to apply zoning by-laws with parking minimums whose logic and purpose is rooted in the fundamentally different planning, economic, demographic and environmental context of the mid-twentieth century. And yet they persist, even as they routinely and systematically produce urban landscapes ranging from the kind of disappointing to the utterly dystopian.

Pokémon GO - a phenomenon that swept the world this past summer! Cities around the globe experienced an influx of citizens into their public spaces as everyone tried to 'catch-em-all.' Crazed Pokémon trainers wandered the city swiping their phones and battling to win gyms, ultimately searching for the coveted Pikachu.

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