Silt tables marijuana zoning ordinance |

Silt tables marijuana zoning ordinance

Ryan Hoffman
Marijuana plants grow at a cultivation facility in Rifle.
Ryan Hoffman / Citizen Telegram |

SILT — Trustees tabled an ordinance Monday that would further restrict where marijuana cultivation facilities can operate in the town, which previously proved to be a highly contentious issue.

Mayor Rick Aluise noted that the board requested enhanced restrictions on cultivation. At issue, though, is the matter of whether testing facilities should be included in the ordinance, which would ban cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities in the town’s B-1 general business zone and the town’s B-2 highway business zone district.

Among other areas, the B-1 zone includes Main Street from Sixth Street to east of the roundabout, while B-2 covers Main Street from Sixth Street to First Street on the west side of town, as well as several areas south of River Frontage Road.

The town has two retail marijuana stores and no cultivation facilities, the latter of which was especially contentious the last time it came before trustees.

Around 200 people turned out for a trustee meeting in January 2015 as the town considered two applications for cultivation facilities, the Post Independent reported at the time. Trustees unanimously rejected one application, which drew an abundance of opposition from residents in neighboring subdivisions, and voted 4-3 against the second application.

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In early June, during discussion regarding the proposed ordinance, which was unanimously approved by the town’s planning and zoning commission, trustees indicated their intent to table the ordinance in order to further evaluate the idea of addressing the three types of facilities individually.

The thought was that while a cultivation facility would not be appropriate in the central business district, a testing facility might be more suitable. Those facilities, which do not sell marijuana but test it for potency, generally do not have some of the impacts of other marijuana businesses, such as odor, and tend to be less visible than retail and medical stores.

According to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, the state has 15 retail marijuana testing facilities and 13 medical marijuana testing facilities. By comparison, as of July 1, the state has 786 medical marijuana cultivation businesses and 572 retail cultivation businesses in Colorado.

Of all the testing facilities, only two are located outside the Front Range — one in Carbondale and one in Durango.

The ordinance’s place on the agenda drew a small crowd of people, who left after trustees stated their intent to table the matter until the board’s first meeting in September.

Trustees are scheduled to meet for a work session with the planning and zoning commission at 6 p.m. July 25. A good deal of the discussion will likely center on marijuana and zoning.

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