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Green spring on tap for Walsenburg

WALSENBURG — Calling the decision a tough choice between economic reality and personal morals, Walsenburg Mayor Jim Eccher cast his vote Tuesday night with four other council members to move forward in allowing retail marijuana sales within the city. Council had three ordinances before them in regular session this week and passed all three. Ordinance 1057 authorizes licensing of retail marijuana stores, cultivation facilities, products manufacturing and testing. Ordinance 1058 provides the zoning districts for marijuana businesses, defined as 1) stores in C-2 Community Commercial Districts as use by right/cultivation, products manufacturing, and testing facilities in C-2 Districts as use by special permit; 2) cultivation facilities in A-O Agricultural-Open Districts as use by special permit; 3) retail stores, cultivation, product manufacturing and testing in R-O Large Lot Residential Districts as use by special permit; 4) stores, cultivation, product manufacturing and testing in C-1 Neighborhood and Tourist Commercial District use by special permit; 5) product manufacturing and testing facilities in L-1 Wholesale-Light Industrial Districts as

use by right, and 6) retail stores, cultivation, retail product manufacturing and testing in H-I Heavy Industrial Districts as use by right. The final ordinance approved Tuesday night was Ordinance 1056 which establishes a treated water rate for greenhouses and warehouses used for the purpose of growing plants. Ordinance 1056 passed 7-0; Ordinances 1057 and 1058 passed on 5-2 votes with Silvana Lind and Mayor Pro Tem Craig Lessar voting against and Nick Vigil, Charles Montoya, Mayor Eccher, Troy Reeves and Clint Boehler voting in favor. All of the ordinances passed on first reading with second reading scheduled for the next council session. All of the ordinances include state mandated restrictions regarding retail marijuana businesses. Ordinance 1058 will be the subject of an upcoming public hearing as it addresses changes in zoning. The full text of all the ordinances appear in the legal section of today’s World Journal. Ordinance 1055 which amends the original medical marijuana Ordinance 1020, was approved on second reading in a 6-1 vote with Lessar voting no. In other business, city council approved Resolution 2015-RO-7 authorizing a grant application for $44,000 from Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization for work on the Miners Plaza Park project. The 25-percent matching funds for the grant will be supplied by Huerfano Parks and Recreation District. Council approved Resolution 2015-RO6, an application for Extra-Territorial Water Service which allows DDS Limited of Canon City, CO to tap into the city’s water and sewer pump station near Chae Organics (at the company’s own expense) for water and sewer service for a planned marijuana greenhouse operation. Council passed Resolution 2015-RO-7 concerning the Northlands project that allows the reimbursement of certain costs with proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. The city council voted unanimously to appoint John Salazar, a Walsenburg Police Sergeant, to the vacant Ward 2 City Council position. Salazar will serve in the position until the November election.