council preview

MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville City Council will consider a zoning ordinance regarding the production and sale of medical marijuana during its next regular session, set for 7 p.m. Monday, July 8.

In Nov. 2018, Missouri voters approved an amendment to the state constitution establishing the right of people diagnosed with certain medical conditions and diseases to possess and consume marijuana, long classed by the state as an illegal drug.

Possession under the amendment is also legal for patients’ caregivers.

To qualify for the permitted possession or personal-use cultivation of marijuana individuals must obtain certification from a physician.

Under the amendment, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is to act as the primary regulatory agency overseeing medical marijuana. However, according to a municipal staff report authored by City Manager Greg McDanel, municipalities also have a role to play, especially in terms of controlling the “time, place and manner” under which marijuana facilities operate.

That means, according to the staff report, that cities are allowed to adopt “reasonable zoning regulations and standards for medical marijuana facilities.”

McDanel stated that those operations include dispensaries, cultivation sites, infused product manufacturing facilities and testing labs, all of which can be locally restricted, depending on function, to areas zoned for commercial or industrial enterprises.

Among other provisions, the draft ordinance going before the council proposes that dispensaries be closed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. In addition, state restrictions prohibit medical marijuana facilities within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare centers and churches, though cities apparently have some leeway in that regard.

McDanel said many cities are adopting less restrictive distances or aligning distances with similar setbacks applied to intoxicating liquor sales.

“It can be argued that restrictive separation requirements may encourage development outside and adjacent to city limits with no regulatory authority or benefit to the municipality, such as sales tax,” McDanel stated.

The proposed medical marijuana code for Maryville includes a schools, day care and church separation of 100 feet, which matches the existing requirement for intoxicating liquor.

Additional restrictions will likely include prohibitions against public consumption and driving under the influence.

If adopted, the ordinance will place the same restrictions on smoking marijuana that currently apply to the consumption of tobacco products inside or near the entrances to workplaces, restaurants and public spaces.

Under the provisions of the state amendment, cities are not allowed to ban medical marijuana facilities either outright or through “overly burdensome regulations.”

In a presentation before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, McDanel said he expects at least one medical marijuana cultivation site to operate in the Maryville area along with several dispensaries. The commission voted 7-1 in favor of recommending approval of the ordinance on June 26.

As for taxation, McDanel said the state plans to collect a 4 percent sales tax to help pay regulatory expenses incurred by the Department of Health and Senior Services. Local sales tax rates will also apply but may not be increased.

Land use issues take up much of the rest of Monday’s agenda, including a proposal to rezone properties located between West Fifth and West Sixth streets between North Walnut and North Fillmore from R2 single-family residence to R2 modified residence.

The proposed zoning would allow the development of both single-family homes and duplexes.

According to a staff report, the two-block section containing 22 individual properties is located within the Campus Town Overlay District, which was created in an effort to encourage higher-density residential development in neighborhoods adjacent to, and mostly just east of, Northwest Missouri State University.

The ordinance was unanimously recommended for council approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Also before the council is an ordinance amending the city’s zoning code with regard to short-term rental properties.

The current code does not address or define short-term rentals, which had been treated similarly to bed-and-breakfast establishments through a special use permit process.

However, according to McDanel, short-term rentals, home sharing and vacation rentals are becoming increasingly popular and thus require more detailed regulation in order to “protect residents and the stability of their neighborhoods.”

Should the ordinance pass, proprietors of short-term rentals will be charged $125 for an annual permit fee to “ensure that short-term rental properties are well maintained for life/safety issues and to offset overall administrative costs.”

According to the city’s comprehensive plan, a key goal for short-term rentals is their development in the downtown commercial zoning district with an emphasis on upstairs apartments.

A third land-use measure set for council consideration is a petition from Northwest Foundation Inc., the fundraising arm of Northwest Missouri State University, to annex 67 acres of vacant property located in the northwest corner of Maryville west of Icon Road and southwest of Donaldson Westside Park.

According to a staff report, the voluntary annexation is being requested “for future economic development purposes.”

On other fronts Monday, the council will decide whether to execute a contract with low-bidder Keller Construction Co. of St. Joseph for this summer’s round of asphalt street overlays.

Keller’s base bid totals $174,018 and includes the milling and resurfacing of the following thoroughfares: North Fillmore (Second to Fourth), the 200 block of South Saunders, Lawn Avenue, Crestview (South Avenue through the first intersection), West Ninth (North Walnut to Northwest Missouri State University), the 100 and 200 blocks of South Water and the 100 block of North Hester.

The current budget allocates $130,000 for asphalt milling and overlays. City staff is proposing making up the $44,000 shortfall from $116,000 set aside for downtown improvements and signage.

In a related matter, the city is awaiting Missouri Department of Transportation approval before proceeding with bids for the asphalt overlay of South Main Street between Halsey and Lincoln, a section of Maryville’s busiest thoroughfare that was badly damaged over the winter by severe weather and water infiltration.

Funding for the South Main project is to include $84,000 from a state Small Urban Surface Transportation Program grant.

Additional items on Monday’s agenda include:

• A request to hold the Nodaway County Fair Parade, scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 20. This year’s parade will proceed east along College Avenue/West Fourth Street to North Buchanan, where it will turn south before dispersing at the West Second Street intersection.

• A liquor license application from Aaron M. Jones, who recently acquired the former Outback tavern at 424 N. Buchanan. According to city documents, Jones intends to reopen the bar, which is being renamed The Powerhouse.

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Staff writer Anthony Brown can be reached at tbrown@maryvilledailyforum.com or by calling the newspaper at 660.562.2424.