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Council votes 6-3 on ordinance to implement Issue 300

By: DANIEL J. CHACON AND JOANNA BEAN
February 23, 2010
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photo - Doug Bruce speaks at the city council meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2010.  (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) Photo by JERILEE BENNETT,  THE GAZETTE
Doug Bruce speaks at the city council meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2010. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) Photo by JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE 

The Colorado Springs City Council approved on a 6-3 vote today an ordinance that will implement Issue 300, the city ballot measure that, approved last fall, effectively ended the Stormwater Enterprise.

Council members Darryl Glenn, Tom Gallagher and Sean Paige opposed the measure. "This has pending lawsuits written all over it," Glenn said.

In January, the council decided to postpone a proposed ordinance to implement Issue 300 to give employees in the City Attorney’s Office and anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, who wrote the initiative, time to work on a “consensus ordinance.”

Today's meeting started with more than 30 minutes of testimony from Bruce opposing the ordinance.

It was just one of several issues that drew a standing-room-only crowd to today's meeting at City Hall. The council also is scheduled today to take up the

regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado Springs and also a no-camping ordinance. The meeting began at 1 p.m. at 107 N. Nevada Ave.

Regarding medical marijuana, the council is expected to consider today adopting a resolution that says the city's code enforcement department "is directed to vigorously enforce zoning code violations against unlawful medical marijuana related land uses, especially those within 1,000 feet of any residential use or primary or secondary school use."

The resolution, which the council directed the City Attorney’s Office to prepare Monday in time for today’s council meeting, drew sharp criticism Monday from members of a task force that has been working on an ordinance to regulate the city’s medical marijuana industry.

The proposed ordinance, which is being reviewed by the Council of Neighbors and Organizations, law enforcement officials and others, was crafted after months of meetings and is scheduled to be considered by the council again in March.

The resolution “came out of the blue without much discussion or ... forethought,” Councilman Sean Paige, who headed the task force along with Councilman Tom Gallagher, said Monday. “I guess some (on council) seem inclined to use a hacksaw where a scalpel would suffice. I’m just worried about the reactionary mindset that’s setting in when there isn’t a citywide problem or crisis involving medical marijuana.”

The resolution was born out of a slew of complaints about a planned medical marijuana dispensary in the old Mission Inn Restaurant on North Academy Boulevard.

 

For updates to City Council action today, check gazette.com

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