Coming to council: Late night marijuana sales and council decision on housing bill that affects local zoning laws
Council to decide whether to allow extended marijuana sales in Glenwood Springs
A petition was recently submitted to the city of Glenwood Springs to add a ballot initiative to extend marijuana business hours from 7 to 10 p.m.
Mayor Jonathan Godes said he added the question to the Council agenda, since the petition would require a special election to be held, creating additional work for city staff.
Council asked city staff to collect information from similar communities to present for the decision, and staff also created a poll to receive public opinion.
From the information the city gathered, they found that many municipalities extended hours to at least 10 p.m. if not midnight. Boulder, Golden, Rifle, Silt and Steamboat Springs all extended their hours until 10 p.m., while Eagle, Carbondale, Central City and Telluride all extended hours until midnight.
Carbondale, Central City and Telluride all reported no significant crime change, according to the city’s findings. Central City and Telluride noted, however, that marijuana sales establishments rarely stay open until midnight.
“Glenwood Police evaluated call data in geofenced areas with proximity to existing marijuana businesses and found no correlation between crime rates and the presence of such establishments,” the packet states.
The statement from Glenwood Police added that extended hours are not projected to create a substantial change in crime and the Glenwood Police Department is not in opposition of extended hours.
The poll conducted by the city was advertised on the website and Nextdoor, and the packet reflects all participants’ votes up to March 30. The poll shows 25 participants with 83% being current residents. Results also showed 53% in favor, 40% not in favor and 8% in the undecided category.
Only four non-residents voted and one said they were a business owner in Glenwood. Most of the people who polled in favor mentioned liquor store hours and their tendency to create more crime than marijuana.
Most of the opposed comments mentioned living and working close to current dispensaries and disliking the behavior of customers, from poor parking habits to disrespect for public smoking laws. One person who was polled claimed vandalism and property damage from the clientele.
One response read, “could care less. Amazing what is wasting time on the city council.”
Council will vote on the first two readings Thursday.
The staff presentation also includes the statewide data report,”Impacts on Marijuana Legalization in Colorado.”
Council Conversation on ‘More Housing Now’ bill
Council will discuss Senate Bill 23-213, and determine whether to take a position.
The sweeping statewide land use bill will lift restrictions on local zoning codes involving housing.
The bill will also require housing assessments and plans, strategic growth plans and water conservation plans with audits.
The reason the bill is controversial is because it is considered to be a state government overreach that takes away local zoning or “land use” control, and there is concern for the way it was presented.
The bill was announced by Gov. Jared Polis during the housing summit earlier this month, and was placed straight on the Senate floor, which many on the Western Slope felt was a rushed decision.
The bill requirements will not affect much change for Glenwood Springs, but it will be a long-term commitment for strategic growth and planning on both a state and regional marvel.
The Glenwood Springs City Council meeting will be at 6:15 p.m. April 6 at City Hall, 101 West Eighth St. or on Zoom.
Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-384-9131.
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