GRAY — The Town Council gave preliminary approval to amendments that would alter how setbacks are measured for registered marijuana caregivers on June 4.

“The language that’s currently on the books,” said Community Development Director Doug Webster, “had the cumulative effect of prohibiting registered caregivers on many properties in the village center district in particular.”

Registered caregivers must be allowed in a municipality, per state statute. The town is trying to open up a sufficient number of properties by adjusting how minimum separation distances are measured from where medical marijuana uses are not allowed.

Instead of measuring setbacks from lot line to lot line, Webster proposed measuring them “from the lot line of where medical marijuana uses are not allowed to either the driveway access or the location on the property where the registered caregiver use is occurring.”

Council Vice Chairwoman Sandra Carder asked, “Do we feel that this change opens up enough that we’re not being too restrictive?”

“I think it’s on the edge,” Webster said. “It’s a balancing act.”

At the May 21 council meeting, he also proposed reducing the required 500-foot setback, as measured from property line to property line, to 200 feet. The council did not unanimously support this proposal.

Councilors will hold a second reading of the amendments at their June 18 meeting.

The new standard would apply in four districts: Business Districts 1 and 2, Commercial and Village Center.

The council also voted unanimously June 4 to enter into a contract with North Star Planning to be the consultant for the town’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and to appoint 11 residents to the committee.

In an interview, Webster said the town’s current comprehensive plan was written in 2003, and “the standard of practice is to revisit the plans every 10 years.”

“The goal is that the steering committee will be working collaboratively with North Star Planning to keep the process moving, and there will be periodic updates to the council so that the council is apprised of the status. The steering committee will be the guide as we go through the process,” Webster said.

The target completion date for the plan is November of 2020 so that residents will be able to vote on it during a presidential election year.

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected]


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