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Glenwood P&Z to decide on pot shop at Meadows

Glenwood Meadows.
John Stroud/Post Independent

A pot shop in Glenwood Meadows will be the subject of Thursday evening’s Planning and Zoning Commission special meeting.

Starting at 6 p.m., the commission will hear an appeal of a decision by Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Jennifer Ooton that marijuana-related uses are not allowed in Glenwood Meadows.

On July 21, Chris Hawkins of Alpine Planning in Ridgway applied for a special-use permit to open a retail marijuana shop at Lot 11B at Meadows on behalf of Kind West Glenwood.

As the lot is under contract, the permit application was signed by property owner Robert Macgregor of Glenwood Meadows LLC.

Both have written letters to the city decrying Ooton’s administrative decision made on July 22.

In Ooton’s letter to Hawkins, she said that marjiuana-related uses are not among those listed on the Glenwood Meadows Annexation and Development Agreement.

“We understand that Glenwood Meadows was approved years before the state and city allowed marijuana uses. However, we have consistently interpreted the ADA to be proscriptive. If the use is not listed, it is not allowed,” the letter said.

Macgregor’s letter countered that claim.

“This is a misrepresentation of the purpose, interpretation and 18-plus years of application of the contractual agreement set forth by the ADA. Neither the Plan or amendments subcategorize each and every possible type of ‘retail’ use that exists or may in the future exist as a use at Glenwood Meadows,” Macgregor’s letter said.

Lot 11B is under Meadows zoning C-2, in which retail is allowed, according to the Zoning and Development Plan.

Hawkins argued in his letter that a pot shop is a retail business, therefore it should be allowed.

“A retail use is a retail use. There is no distinction in the ADA between various retail uses with retail stores, retail flower shops and similar establishments clumped together under this broad land use umbrella,” his letter stated. 

Considering that the approval of Glenwood Meadows predated legal marijuana, as Ooton’s letter acknowledged, both Hawkins and Macgregor referenced a line from the Zoning and Development Plan that states, “The Glenwood Springs zoning ordinance shall apply where the provisions of this guide do not address a specific subject.”

Under city zoning Lot 11B is M-2, in which marijuana facilities are allowed with a special use permit. Hawkins covered that base by submitting the application.

The Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision on the matter will be the city’s final decision.

“Unless appealed, the Planning Commission decision will be binding,” Ooton said in an email.

If the applicant does not agree with the commission’s decision, the next recourse would be litigation.

“A party aggrieved by a final decision would appeal the decision to the appropriate appellate body,” Ooton said.

cwertheim@postindependent.com


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