In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.
It began at 6 p.m., Monday night with a workshop to discuss the upcoming budget process and work schedule; it ended five hours and fifteen minutes later after an executive session to
discuss a real estate transaction concerning the decommissioned Longmont water plants just east of Town. In between ,the Board of Trustees (BOT) discussed, what else, medical marijuana, the Economic Development Commission’s recommendations for an economic strategic development plan, an update of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Boulder County, and the recently adopted, and apparently contentious, two-hour parking ordinance on Main Street.
Sgt. Kevin Parker, Lyons Substation Supervisor, reported that in general things went very smoothly during RockyGrass, with only a few calls to the Boulder County’s services. He also mentioned that a suspect has been nabbed for a rash of car break-ins that occurred here in Lyons, earlier this spring. He told the BOT, “The wheels of justice grind slow, but they do grind fine.” To which Trustee LaVern Johnson wanted to know, “How are they grinding on the museum vandalism? It’ll be a year come August 17, and it was $600 worth of damage!” Parker sheepishly reported that they were “still grinding on that one.”
During audience business, Lucky Farms medical marijuana center owner Shawn Welch requested the Board wait until a rumored ban on medical marijuana in Lyons voter referendum (more on this later) was settled before starting the 90 day clock on reopening his business in a new location. Mayor Julie Van Domelen explained to him that no action could be taken at this meeting, and to get with Town Staff to see about getting on the August 15 meeting agenda.
Moments later, when the MMJ local licensing authority (the BOT) convened, they went through a long and detailed discussion, including phone hook-up with Town Attorney Tim Cox, about granting a transfer of license to Daniel Yim, the new owner of Lyons Finest Confidential Care, a medical marijuana center at the bottom of Stone Canyon (formerly owned by Dan Ballard). Van Domelen laid out an extensive time line, concerning who knew what and when, who had licenses and/or applications with the state, or local authorities, when said items were filed, what they said, and on and on. Yim’s lawyer, John Goutell, kept reminding everyone that most of the issues with the establishment pre-dated his client buying the business, and all issues brought up since then had been dealt with quickly and satisfactorily, showing the good faith intentions of Mr. Yim. In the end, and this discussion took nearly an hour and forty-five minutes, the Board agreed that it was reasonable to grant the transfer, which they did in a 7 to 0 vote (even LaVern voted yes!).
The consent agenda, consisting of the July 18 BOT meeting minutes and the July accounts payable, was passed without any discussion, and Economic Development Commission Chair,Tom Douglas gave the afore mentioned recommendation of the economic strategic development plan. Administrator Simonsen gave the Trustees an update on the IGA negotiations with Boulder County. It was basically just a calendar and schedule of upcoming meetings and discussions.
A discussion about the two-hour parking limit on Main Street during weekends was the next item on the agenda. Kevin Carroll, owner of Lyons Pinball, and Wayne Anderson, owner of The Fork Restaurant, both spoke against the ordinance. Both said it hurt their businesses, and put the town in an unfavorable light. They each felt that it would hurt the economic growth of the town in the long run. There was some discussion on whether the newly hired enforcement officers were a little over zealous. The Mayor explained that this ordinance was driven by other Main Street business owners, who felt that employees, out of town bikers, and festival goers were taking up all the parking spots for hours on end, and therefore stifling the activities of shoppers and paying customers. In the end, Simonsen was directed to instruct the enforcement officers to issue “warnings” until such time as this issue can be sorted out. Perhaps at the August 15 meeting?
It was revealed in the Administrator’s report that the mid-day bus routes, to and from Boulder on the “Y” line, will begin on August 21!
Town Clerk Deb Anthony informed the Trustees that she has indeed received the paper work for a petition, for an ordinance to ban all medical marijuana centers, optional grow operations, and infused products manufacturing within the Town of Lyons. She said the clock is now ticking (the petitioners have 180 days to collect and turn in the required signatures – about 80 to 85).
If that deadline is met, opponents of the ban then have 40 days to ascertain that the paper work is in order, and that the names are valid. If everything checks out, the BOT then has 20 days to either pass an ordinance or agree to put it to the voters via a Town-wide referendum. Anthony said the petitioners expressed a desire to time the referendum with the regularly scheduled Trustee/Mayor elections in April of 2011, so as to not add the cost of a special election. This fight is definitely not over!
The Board then went into executive session to discuss and strategize about the sale of the decommissioned water treatment plants. Upon reconvening the meeting, (I’m told; I left hours ago) they instructed the Staff to do what was discussed behind closed doors. And the marathon meeting was adjourned.