Marijuana again took center stage at a special city council meeting Aug. 18, this time leading to a 90-day moratorium on new marijuana-based business.
Plans for a a marijuana grow operation at W. 38th Avenue and Miller Street sparked the debate.
Due to the closing of a marijuana business on W. 38th and Kipling Street, the vacant W. 38th and Miller location became available. It was previously unavailable due to distance requirements placed on marijuana shops and manufacturing facilities.
Plans for the marijuana grow operation came under criticism from Wheat Ridge residents who claim that the site is too close to residential, academic and recreational facilities for a marijuana establishment to be placed there.
According to Google Maps, the intersection of 38th and Miller is a 7-minute walk from the Recreation Center, a 10-minute walk from Discovery Park and a 6-minute walk from Everitt Middle School.
Mayor Joyce Jay called the meeting to discuss the implementation of the moratorium in order to give council ample time to address the situation. At the session, close to 30 people voiced opinions, mostly against the grow operation at the populous intersection.
Guy Nahmiach a real estate agent living in Wheat Ridge said that marijuana establishments have a negative impact on the value of the homes near it. Nahmiach said that a house’s value decreases by 22 to 27 percent if it’s located near a high-traffic area such as a school, but for homes located near marijuana shops, the devaluation is much more severe.
“I can tell you that all the families that I bring in here into Wheat Ridge are concerned about this. They come here for our schools,” he said. “When you wake up one day, and there’s a pot shop next to you, it’s not 22 or 27, it’s 100 percent devaluation.”
Councilman Jerry DiTullio from District One made an amendment to the moratorium that requested that city staff explore the possibility of issuing a special-use permits for marijuana establishments. The special-use permit would allow the city to place extra requirements related to marijuana businesses.
The special-use permit is only one option that city council and staff will explore during the 90 days. The moratorium was passed unanimously with Councilman George Pond absent.