New Castle P&Z favors allowing pot businesses in town |

New Castle P&Z favors allowing pot businesses in town

John Colson
Post Independent staff

NEW CASTLE — The town council will discuss a recommendation Tuesday night from its planning and zoning commission, in favor of allowing the cultivation, manufacture and testing of marijuana products within the town’s boundaries.

The town council already has passed a temporary ban on recreational marijuana sales in town, so the council members opted to let the P&Z make recommendations about the other types of pot businesses that were legalized last year when Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 to the state constitution.

That ban will come up for reconsideration before the town council in May 2014, according to town administrator Tom Baker.

In the meantime, the council wished to know how the P&Z felt about the other kinds of businesses permitted under the new state law.

Following a public hearing on the matter on July 10, and a second hearing on July 24, the advisory commission voted to pass on to the council a resolution advocating the businesses be allowed in town.

According to the resolution, the commission’s decision was “based on testimony presented through these meetings by staff and the general public,” leading the P&Z to conclude that the businesses ought to be allowed now.

In general, the P&Z recommended that the town amend New Castle’s zoning codes to accommodate businesses that grow pot, cook it up into edible products, and test pot for potency and other attributes mandated by the new state laws.

The citizen planners concluded that the new businesses should be permitted in the C-1 commercial zone district.

An ordinance to this effect, the planning commission advised, should “clarify that the types of retail marijuana businesses allowed in New Castle are not open for sales to the public and therefore would not fall within the definition of a general “retail business” use within any zone district.”

In other business, the council is scheduled to take up a discussion about allowing dogs in Burning Mountain Park; the Garfield County policy governing idling vehicles, and the town’s audit.

The council, acting as the municipal finance committee, is to meet at 6:15 to discuss the audit, with the general agenda beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the town hall at 450 W. Main St.

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