The Wayland City Council Monday night made it official and unanimously adopted the first local ordinance permitting the growing, sale, dispensing of recreational marijuana.
The council continued to insist on a rule that prohibits dispensaries being fewer than 200 feet from churches or schools. That distance is shorter than many larger municipalities, but officials said adhering to 500 or 1,000 feet could eliminate most or almost all businesses from eligibility.
Councilman Norm Taylor, himself former superintendent of Wayland Union Schools, said, “I’m pro-business, but I’m also concerned about exposure of our youth.
Current Supt. Tim Reeves appeared before the council to urge members to strictly regulate permitted locations to the 200 feet and compliance with signage regulations.
At the center of these concerns is Pine Street Elementary, and under the ordinance business sites at No. 1 Chinese restaurant, Bentley’s Party Store, the Big Dipper Ice Cream, Papa Mineo’s Pizza, the car wash a block away on Sycamore and the former Wayland Cleaners now are eliminated from consideration.
Councilman Joe Kramer said, “We want to comply with (the schools’) drug-free zones without eliminating half the downtown business district.”
Councilwoman Tracy Bivins said she believes any dispensary that wants to come into Wayland actually is more likely to set up shop closer to the U.S-131 expressway to attract more customer traffic.
Two men who have been attending council meetings of late and have expressed interest in establishing such a business expressed their pleasure while leaving the meeting.
In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the council:
• Heard rave reviews about the Main Street celebration held on Saturday, July 16, an impressive feat after being plagued by problems with inclement weather and Covid-19 over the past three years.
Councilman Abe Garcia said, “It was a good turnout, there were a lot of kids and families, and everything went well.”
Kramer added that he checked Sunday morning to see if revelers made a mess downtown, but could not find an empty cup of alcohol in the new social district.
Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Antel said. “The volunteers did a fantastic job,” noting it wasn’t easy while Wayland was operating without a DDA Director.
• Was told by Police Chief Mark Garnsey there has been an uptick in domestic violence, but he’s even more concerned about false reports. He recommended the city consider a local ordinance governing resisting arrest incidences.
• Had the first reading of an ordinance for Great Lake Energy to provide broadband services within the city limits.
• Gave final plat approval to developers of the Wayland Ridge residential project.
• Approved a request from Open Road Brewery to use city assets for its anniversary celebration Aug. 6.