PRINCETON – If any cannabis-related business comes to Princeton, the city’s Plan Commission is determined to contain it to an area where it will be out of sight, out of mind.
The board agreed to a recommendation that the city council adopt an ordinance that will limit any cannabis-related business, whether it be for growing, processing, dispensing or retail sales, to designated “adult” use zones north of Interstate 80.
Those zones are outside of residential areas and are located in an area of the city where they will be the least likely to be seen by children, according to the board.
The city at this time has imposed an ordinance that would tax cannabis businesses at 3 percent, should they locate here, but that isn’t necessarily the last word on the matter.
State statute assumes a cannabis business can locate within any given municipality unless they adopt an ordinance denying such businesses. The Princeton City Council has not yet voted on whether to ban cannabis businesses.
“If we don’t have an ordinance in place, can anyone just show up Jan. 1 and put it anywhere?” board member Jackie Davis asked.
City Clerk Pete Nelson said he didn’t have a clear answer to that question, but said if the plan commission didn’t come up with an ordinance, the city council would.
“I don’t really want it here,” Davis said, “But if it does come here, I want it to be north of the interstate.”
“I think we should limit it to zone M2 (north), which is already zoned ‘adult use’ and prohibit it from south of the railroad tracks,” Matt Keutzer said.
“I’m 100 percent against it,” chairman Jim Scruggs said. “I would like to keep it to a place that discourages anyone from wanting to build here.”
Scruggs said he wanted to limit the proposed area to as small as possible, a move Nelson cautioned him about.
“You have to be careful limiting the area too much,” he said, “I hate to use the word rights, but perhaps it is rights is the word, for enterprises to come here. They could contest such a narrow area.”
“Well, I’d like to do whatever we can to keep them out,” Scruggs said.
In the end, the commission, with the exception of Scruggs who voted no, will ask the city to pass an ordinance limiting cannabis to north of Interstate 80, with special-use permit only and require a minimum of 1,500 feet from any residence.