by Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.
In a meeting that harkened back to the “bad old days” (I’ve only been covering these meetings for the last four years, what do I know?), the Board of Trustees (BOT) held a workshop from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and then went right into their regularly scheduled meeting at 7. They didn’t finish up till just after 11p.m. Phew!
Five and a half hours; former Mayor Nick Angelo, who was in the audience, said, “These guys have it easy, we used to meet until after midnight all the time!”
What was on the lengthy agenda you ask? Medical marijuana, what else? Well, there was actually a little more on the agenda, but most of it got pushed back until the next meeting because of the late hour. Sgt. Kevin Parker, Lyons Substation Supervisor, reported to the Board that the Boulder County Sheriff had instituted a fire ban for Boulder County, and asked that Lyons approve a resolution doing the same. Parker noted that a Lyons resident had been issued a ticket for an open fire near the north shelter in Meadow Park over the weekend (a $500 fine!), and added, “We are taking this burn ban very seriously.” I guess!
The Staff submitted for first reading an ordinance concerning the licensing of medical marijuana businesses in Lyons. Mayor Julie Van Domelen took the Trustees, staff, audience (about a dozen residents), and of course, the National Geographic crew (seven members) on a step by step, paragraph by paragraph, page by page tour of the twenty-six page document, to see exactly where there was consensus among the Board about: leaving it as written, striking a particular item, modifying a concept, or changing a single word. The discussion covered such issues as: types of licenses (center, grow operation, infused manufacturing), banning outright or capping the number, distance between centers, distance from schools, grandfathering existing non-conforming businesses, transfer of ownership, relocation of premises, and signage.
The Trustees snipped a reference here, tweaked a phrase there, disagreed occasionally, but for the most part they found a lot of common ground. By 10:15 p.m., Trustee Kirk Udovich somehow found a way to incorporate all the additions and deletions into a motion, which was seconded, and passed with a 5-1 vote.
Trustee Ed Bruder dissented, and Trustee LaVern Johnson was absent due to a pressing social engagement (she was being honored at a historical fete, and didn’t arrive at the meeting until 10 p.m., and chose not to vote since she hadn’t taken part in the discussion).
The results of the main issues were: no ban, but an “attrition” cap of two (existing businesses will be allowed until they cease to operate), any existing business will be allowed to apply for all three licenses (center, grow operation, and infused manufacturing), 1000 feet between businesses, 1000 feet from schools (existing businesses inside 1000 feet will be grandfathered in as legal non-conforming), transfer of ownership will be permitted, signage will follow the existing sign code with the exclusion of “marijuana symbols,” and the regulation that the word marijuana, cannabis, or any word commonly known as a synonym of such will be proceeded by the word “medical,” nor would advertising that implied recreational use be allowed.
Van Domelen took a short break to allow everyone to get some fresh air, and then went into “hurry up” mode to tackle the first reading of an ordinance concerning zoning districts for medical marijuana related businesses. This entailed allowing centers in Commercial Zones, infused manufacturing and grown operations in Light and General Industrial Zones. Johnson, who by this time was part of the discussion, suggested that since the Commercial Eastern Corridor Zone was not yet sufficiently defined by the Planning and Community Development Commission, that that particular section be tabled until such time as a clearer definition was agreed upon. Everyone concurred this was a good idea; a motion was made reflecting this, and the rest of the ordinance was passed by a 6-1margin. Bruder was again the dissenting vote.
The Board then passed the consent agenda, consisting of the January and February financials and Clerk & Treasurer’s report, the March 21 BOT meeting minutes, and the March 2011 accounts payable. They passed a resolution of intent (basically to start the clock) on a property known as the Whipp Annexation (the Farmette, just east of Stone Canyon), and passed the aforementioned resolution supporting the Boulder County fire ban. A discussion to address the impact of the beavers on the Lyons Valley Park ponds was tabled until the next BOT meeting (see related story in this edition), as was a discussion about a proposed parking fee for Bohn Park.
Due to the hour, the Mayor asked that Trustee reports be kept brief, like not at all, unless the item needed to be on the next agenda. Bruder asked that the Staff look into the possibility of contributing $600 for food at next month’s senior summit. Simonsen said she would see if the funds were available. She then gave her report, which was to notify the Board that Public Works Director Larry Badker had submitted his intent to retire as of April 29. Simonsen said she would begin immediately to advertise for the position, adding that one of the qualifications she would like to see, is that the person filling the position would either hold a “water certificate” (to operate the Town’s water and wastewater plant) or would be willing to take classes to become qualified to do so within six months of getting the position. The meeting was then adjourned.