Three weeks and two City Council meetings since Edgewater City Councilman Kristian Teegardin floated a proposal to cap the number of pot shops in the city at six, Edgewater has imposed a six-month moratorium on all marijuana applications.
A unanimous vote Feb. 12 made the moratorium effective immediately, Teegardin said. The cap was proposed after a sixth store in the 1-square-mile city caught many off guard when it made it through the zoning process.
“My policy angle pretty much is I don’t want any more marijuana shops in Edgewater at this time,” Teegardin said. “How this gets done will be a collaborative effort, and I won’t be very one-sided on this.”
Local resistance: More Colorado communities — from Palmer Lake, Brush and Granby to Breckenridge, Wheat Ridge and Pueblo — are pushing back against pot shops.
Teegardin said he doesn’t have any issues with the shops themselves but feels six is enough in a city as small as Edgewater, which voted almost 73 percent in favor of Amendment 64.
Most assumed buffer zones and other regulations would limit the number of pot shops to five. At last month’s council meeting, Teegardin didn’t find enough support to look at capping the businesses; council decided to revisit the issue in six months.
But a stream of community feedback both for and against a cap — combined with city staff scouring the code book and finding a number of circumstances where more marijuana shops could open — prompted last week’s imposition of a six-month moratorium.
During that time, city staff will look at options to more tightly regulate new stores, including zoning or land-use code changes.
“I think there are other ways of looking at tightening regulations without putting a cap on the number of stores,” Teegardin said. “What matters to me is crafting good policy going forward; it’s an experiment that’s gone well so far for us, and I think it’s important we want to make sure the marijuana businesses continue to be good stewards.”
No date has been set on when council will look at or vote on the issue; stores already in business shouldn’t be affected by any new changes.
Austin Briggs: 303-954-1729, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/abriggs