Town asks for clarification on smoke shop sign

 
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The Chad Smokeshop 420 was not always welcomed with open arms.

This undated article from sometime in early 2010 highlights some of the difficulties The Chad Smokeshop 420 faced in the beginning…

by LAUREN DEN HARTOG
ADVOCATE STAFF

The Town of Athabasca’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) has asked for more information regarding a sign for the Chad Smokeshop 420, located on 49th Street, before granting a permit to owner Chad Wentworth.

Wentworth told the Advocate that the sign would include the name and logo of his store, which opened on Friday.

The Chad 420 logo in question

The Chad 420 logo in question

At the town’s MPC meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Colleen Powell asked if the town could legitimately ask for changes to what Wentworth wanted on his sign .

“It’s sending a message that most people in the community don’t want sent,” said Powell , of the fact that ‘420’, a reference to April 20, Cannabis Day, would appear on the sign.

“My understanding is that it was chosen in place of a marijuana leaf,” said councillor Christine Nelson.

Powell told council that she had received several phone calls from concerned residents about the new store.

“Everything that is sold is legal, absolutely, but there is some concern that this is promoting drug use among young people. Whether or not this is true, that is the message that is coming to me,” she said .”I would prefer on the sign, that it would just say ‘smoke shop.”’

But chief administrative officer Doug Topinka pointed out that ‘420’ was part of the company name.

“It’s a small town and is this something we want sold in our community?” asked councillor Lionel Cherniwchan, who said the new store was different from having a massage parlor opening in town.

“Would I want a massage parlor adjacent to the building, probably no.”

Council also discussed granting a change of use for the store, which was formerly a clothing store.

“I kind of like dress shops. Why do we have to pass a change of use?” asked councillor Roger Morrill before asking if council could get legal advice on the matter .

“Basically this is a shop selling cigarettes. The actual paraphernalia is at the back of the store,” said councillor Christine Nelson.

Council did grant a change of use on the building, however, the motion to grant a sign permit for the new store was tabled until the next MPC meeting.

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