The Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative will be happy to hear that an appeal made by a Kitsilano dispensary has been denied by the City of Vancouver.
The group of residents held a news conference at City Hall yesterday afternoon (July 12) prior to the dispensary applicant’s appearance before the board of variance.
Herban Legends (3038 Arbutus Street) is allegedly owned by the Sahota family, which also owns four Downtown Eastside hotels, including the Astoria, Regent, Cobalt, and Balmoral. At the news conference, Wendy Pederson and other members of the collaborative argued that the city should not allow the family to operate a marijuana-related business.
The licence applicant, Lachman Singh, is an employee of the Sahota family and works as a manager and desk clerk at the Astoria Hotel. Activists have alleged that Singh filed the initial application for the Sahotas using his own name.
— DTES SRO Collab (@dtes_collab) July 12, 2017
The city denied the application because the shop is located within 230 metres from York House Little School, which violates a city bylaw that requires at least 300 metres between dispensaries and schools, community centres, and youth facilities.
At yesterday’s review, the board of variance upheld the original ruling.
In a statement provided to the Straight, one of the family’s former employees, Ajantha Dharmapla, alleges that Singh is simply a proxy for his direct supervisors, two brothers who are prominent members of the Sahota family. The claim has not been proven in court.
Board of Variance voted 2 deny dispensary application connected to Sahotas. Photos from outside City Hall (hard to take pics inside b/c…) pic.twitter.com/lyv57mjNe8
— DTES SRO Collab (@dtes_collab) July 13, 2017
Last month, the Balmoral Hotel was closed by the city after its owners racked up an extensive list of safety violations. Engineers declared it structurally unsound, and 200 longtime residents were forced out of the building, with just one week to relocate.