After a work session and Planning and Zoning meeting, zoning classifications for marijuana businesses have been set.
All marijuana related business will be prohibited along the waterfront and retail will be prohibited in the residential district.
After P&Z’s Dec. 10 meeting, commissioners voted to require a conditional use permit in the business general district. Only Chair Orion Hanson voted against it.
“Seventy-one percent of the town voted that this should be a taxed commodity,” Hanson said. “In the historic district I have great reservations, but I’m not saying it can’t be done.”
Most commissioners were in favor of the conditional use.
“I think it should be conditional – prohibited in the waterfront, prohibit the selling of it in residential general… conditional all across the board,” Commissioner Rocky Outcalt said.
Assemblyman Spencer Morgan agreed on conditional use, saying a cautioned approach is appropriate as it is still federally illegal.
During a past work session, commissioners compared pot shops to taverns and bars, but Morgan said after thinking about it, there’s a difference as the country isn’t in prohibition.
“Bars and taverns, for better or for worse, have a track record as well,” Commissioner Gary Hisman said. “This is so new, and until recently was illegal. I don’t think we’d hurt anything by going conditional across the board in all zoning areas.”
Annemarie Hasskamp spoke to the commission and urged them to not be too stringent, as future businesses will already have quite a few hoops to jump through, such as 500-ft. boundaries from schools or child related facilities.
She said she worries about conditional use because in small towns, it’s easy to be biased against certain applicants.
“How many conditional use meetings are you going to go through? We should allow it to happen in the places that it makes sense and do a conditional use in the places where it’s a little more sensitive,” she said.
But the commission agreed to pass the conditional use requirement and send their recommendation to the assembly, where it will go through two readings and public hearings.