Here are three takeaways from the Sept. 8 meeting of Buena Vista board of trustees
1 Trustees approved a moratorium on accepting new applications for licenses of medical marijuana businesses until March 31 next year.
The moratorium, which goes into effect immediately, is intended to block new marijuana businesses from coming into town while an ordinance is pending which, if approved by voters, would allow recreational sales in Buena Vista.
The proposed ordinance that will appear on Nov. 3 ballots would limit the number of marijuana businesses – medical, retail or a combination – to two locations.
“The concept was you have one existing business that would take one of those locations already, if they also wanted to offer retail marijuana products.
“And if you don’t have a moratorium in place, you could get additional applications for medical applications, medical operations, that would basically end up locking up the second location and basically getting rid of your entire need for this review process,” said Jeff Parker, the town’s attorney.
The proposed ordinance, if approved by voters and the board of trustees, would repeal and replace the town’s existing medical marijuana law, which does not limit the number of medical marijuana establishments that can be located in town.
2 Trustees sent the Historic Preservation Commission’s proposed architectural design guidelines to the town’s legal team for review.
In a work session before the official meeting Tuesday, trustees expressed approval of the guidelines as well as concern that the guidelines had no regulatory power.
Under the ADG, proposed developments in town would go through a process in which the HPC would review the site plan and make recommendations on how the development could be more harmonious with the rest of downtown Buena Vista, whose eclectic character represents development stretching back 140 years.
But there’s nothing that legally obligates developers to accept all or any of the HPC’s suggestions.
Town planner Mark Doering noted that Main Street’s newest upcoming development, the South Court Social residential and commercial complex to be built across from the Buena Vista Heritage Museum, incorporated sevn of the nine recommendations the HPC made into their plans.
The solution informally agreed upon by the board during the work session was to adopt the ADG into the Unified Development Code, and review the guidelines annually for elements that could be codified into building regulations.
3 The board approved $130,000 of the federal COVID-19 relief funding the town received through the CARES act to be used for a small business grant program.
The program would award businesses one-time grants of $7,500.
The grants would be open to businesses with physical storefronts in BV that have been open for 2 or more years, have COVID-19 Safe Business Certificates issued by Chaffee County Public Health and are in good standing with the town.