The town of Silverthorne followed the example of Frisco and Dillon by approving a moratorium that would temporarily ban retail sales of marijuana until Nov. 1. The ordinance was unanimously approved by the council, with every member present.
At the state level, the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force is helping lawmakers draft regulations on the sale of recreational marijuana. The timeline put forth dictates that the state should adopt regulations by July 1. However, if this date is not met and the state further fails to begin accepting applications for marijuana establishments by Oct. 1, regulatory authority will roll down to local governments.
By passing the moratorium, Silverthorne can give itself time to hear from the state before taking action.
"This time around the state is learning, it's a little bit more structured than the medical marijuana issue was, but although the process is a little better established, the results of the process aren't, so we really don't know what regulations will come out of the decision-making process," said Mayor Dave Koop. "I think this is just the proper line to take here and instead of striking out on our own and trying to invent the wheel and then take it back to the shop, the moratorium will give everybody a little bit of breathing room (and) give the state a chance at the regulatory measures."
According to the Silverthorne town code, two zoning areas allow for a number of uses, including what is termed a "social club." There is not a very specific description of what that means, but it most likely could entail a club for recreational use of marijuana, town officials said.
"We have heard some concerns relating to the social club aspect," said Mark Leidal, community development director. "Rather than trying to figure it out after a social club becomes established, I think the council is more interested in saying let's wait and see."
The town did have one inquiry regarding a social club, Leidal said, but it did not advance further. That's not to say that such a thing would be out of the question in the future, however. Silverthorne also extended its moratorium a month longer than Frisco and Dillon, until Nov. 1, though it can be repealed at any time.
"It's more just to be able to watch what other communities are doing and what the state is doing as these regulations come into place," Leidal said.
At the same meeting, the council also unanimously approved the updates to a resolution that allows the town to exercise eminent domain to acquire rights on certain properties along the Blue River Trail.
The council passed the original ordinance regarding eminent domain and the Blue River Trail project in November 2011. The town sought to connect Segment 5 of the trail, near Willow Pond open space and Mesa Drive, to segments further south, as well as pave and widen the path, currently just a dirt foot path, to allow bicycle use.
"That resolution in 2011 was the resolution that basically provided the action step to move forward with eminent domain," said assistant town manager Ryan Hyland. "Since that time, obviously we've gone through litigation. At the time of the original adoption of that resolution, the litigation hadn't been resolved. It subsequently has been. This one really allows us to clarify and be descriptive of the overlay easements that are needed."