Monday, July 12, 2010

Council set to vote on extending pot shop moratorium

AURORA | Aurora City Council members are set to decide Monday whether to extend the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries through July 2011.

The vote is scheduled to take place during the council’s regularly scheduled session, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Aurora Municipal Center.

The moratorium that was originally implemented in December 2009 is set to expire this month. If voters decide not to outright ban medical marijuana dispensaries in an upcoming election, the moratorium would continue until July 1, 2011 or until zoning rules and regulations are put in place.

Gov. Bill Ritter signed legislation earlier this month that allows cities to either ban dispensaries at city councils’ discretion, or ask voters whether they want to ban dispensaries within their city limits.

The new statewide law allows for ballot language that could ask voters whether they want to prohibit the operation of medical marijuana centers, grow operations, and manufacturers’ licenses for marijuana-infused medical products.

Council members have discussed the possibility of asking voters whether they want to ban dispensaries in the city through a November ballot item.

At a regularly scheduled study session before the vote, council members will discuss a proposal to ask voters this November whether they want to extend a property tax.

Voters could be asked whether they want to approve a tax extension either this November, next year or in 2012.

The property tax in question is $28 for an average home costing $175,000.

If the extension is approved, the money generated could be used for capital projects, or to help the city’s budget shortfall, or both, according to city documents.

Some members of the council’s Management and Finance Committee thought seeking a tax extension in the current economic climate would be difficult and were split on whether to move forward with a ballot question this year, according to the documents.

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