Hayden Town Council to consider marijuana cultivation
Steamboat Springs — Hayden Town Manager David Torgler is expecting a big crowd at Thursday night’s town council meeting.
The council will take an initial look at an ordinance that would regulate and allow for the cultivation of marijuana.
Town staff members will give their reports at 7 p.m., and the regular meeting will follow at 7:30.
According to a staff memo, Ordinance 666 was drafted with the help of local officials, other municipalities that allow for the cultivation of marijuana and a law firm that has experience drafting marijuana-related municipal codes.
“Ordinance 666 addresses the land use, nuisance and licensing concerns raised by the planning commission members and the public during the recent discussions,” the memo states.
In order to get a commercial cultivation license, businesses would have to apply for a conditional use permit. Those permits require a public hearing, a recommendation from the planning commission and action by the town council.
During planning commission meetings, some commissioners have indicated cultivation operations would be most appropriate in areas zoned as light industrial. That includes land near Yampa Valley Regional Airport and in the Valley View Business Park, where Hayden resident Rodney McGowen has proposed opening a grow.
The ordinance does not address an excise tax on the wholesale value of the harvested marijuana. Such a tax would need to be approved by Hayden voters. A ballot amendment proposing an excise tax will be considered by the town council during its Aug. 6 meeting.
On May 29, the planning commission voted 2-1 against allowing marijuana cultivation in the town.
Three of the five planning commissioners attended the meeting. Commissioners Donna Hellyer and Tim Frentress voted against allowing grows. Commissioner Amy Williams voted in favor.
Despite the planning commission not recommending marijuana cultivation, the town council will have the final say.
The planning commission did recommend changing town codes to limit the private cultivation of marijuana at any property to 12 plants.
If the town council approves the first reading of the cultivation ordinance, a date will be held for a public hearing and second reading of the ordinance.