EAGLE — Contrary to what was expected, Eagle County is passing an ordinance that temporarily bans retail marijuana businesses until January.
The county initially planned to begin accepting applications for those businesses Oct. 1. Instead, the second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for a county commissioner hearing on that date.
“Amendment 64 basically says counties have to start accepting applications (or opt out) by Oct. 1,” Eagle County Attorney Bryan Treu told commissioners Sept. 17. “We were trying to be ready to accept applications by then, but we were waiting on some regulations from the state and still have scheduling issues to work through. We might have been able to accomplish that but we didn’t want to rush it.”
Treu said the temporary ban will give commissioners and planners time to review land use regulations.
Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry said this is the smart move.
“I think this is worth the time to allow us to do this correctly,” she said. “It’s easier to wait and get it right the first time, than to try to undo something later.”
The Eagle County planning commission is meeting Oct. 2 and the zoning issue is scheduled for a commissioner hearing Oct. 29.
“The temporary ban allows us to have those hearings,” Treu said. “We usually do things by resolution, but Amendment 64 requires us to do it by ordinance.”
Commissioner Sara Fisher said Eagle County should stay in touch with towns considering retail marijuana.
“We should be talking with them to make sure we’re on the same page,” she said.