Surprisingly, eight citizens and two Trustees showed up at Monday evening’s Planning and Community Development Commission (PCDC) meeting. Not surprisingly, six of the citizens were there to talk about unexplored options (the banning of cultivation, infusion, and sale of medical marijuana) the Town might consider. Unfortunately for those six hearty souls who had braved the frigid temperatures instead of watching the Auburn/Oregon game, medical marijuana was not on the agenda. What was on the agenda were possible amendments to the Town’s annexation procedures.
Some members of the PCDC seemed surprised that the Board of Trustees (BOT) had last week unanimously rejected the recommendation that the new amendments to the annexation process include a proposal to do away with the citizens’ right to vote on any annexation of non-residential property larger than five acres. Another suggestion that was rejected by the BOT involved the ability of the Trustees to approve, without a vote by the public, the annexation of properties owned by any governmental entity (i.e. Boulder County or Longmont) and not just the Town of Lyons as is currently the case.
Two members of the public, Roger Flynn and Coco Gordon, spoke about the need to maintain the citizens’ right to vote on the “five acre” issue. Flynn felt strongly that, “The five acre vote is now part of our community culture.” While Gordon cautioned that in an effort to streamline the annexation procedure, that Town officials “Make sure the public doesn’t get streamlined out of the process.” They also both asked that the Town keep concerned citizens informed about all annexation petitions, via the Town’s website, and email, so that the public would have “an even playing field with developers.” There were also concerns expressed about relaxing the need for impact evaluations at the time of a proposed annexation. Some members of the PCDC felt there would be adequate time for that during the development, platting, and subdivision stages. Commissioner Marty Hine felt it was important to tie any zoning requests with the annexation petition (state statute currently requires it to be done within 90 days of the annexation).
Since another issue being discussed was the possible “acceptable usage” of grow operations in the commercial eastern corridor, Mickey Lohr (pastor for The River Church) opined that “if the discussion was still open” adding that particular verbiage with a recommendation, before allowing public input on the matter “might be premature.” Apparently, there has been a petition to ban the cultivation, infusion, and sale of medical marijuana within Lyons pulled at Town Hall by a citizen (Lohr indicated that neither he nor anyone he knows had anything to do with the petition). A check with Town Clerk Deb Anthony revealed that although the paperwork for such a petition has been pulled, nothing has as yet been turned in. Anthony added that creating such a petition is a complicated matter, and one that has to be done letter perfect, according to state regulations. Even the slightest mistake in filing makes the whole process void.
The modification of the annexation process will come back to the BOT at a future meeting, once the proper notification has been made.