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Council prohibits marijuana facilities

Posted: Thursday, Feb 28th, 2013

MONTE VISTA—The Monte Vista City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting marijuana facilities and stores and another to amend the noise ordinance at their Feb. 21 meeting.

In response to the recent legalization measure in Colorado the council voted unanimously to prohibit the operation of marijuana facilities for cultivation, manufacturing and testing, as well as retail marijuana stores within the city.

Section 16 of Amendment 64 says that a municipality may prohibit those establishments.

The council cited confusion regarding regulation and enforcement in the ordinance. Those concerns may be more of an issue in smaller communities.

Incarceration up to 90 days and a $1,000 fine were set as the penalty for violating the ordinance. That is a standard penalty in the town. Each day that the ordinance is violated is seen as a separate offense.

Mayor Pro-tem Debbie Garcia asked if the ordinance would also prohibit products made out of hemp. Farish and councilor Greg Spangler explained that those items would still be permitted. The definition of marijuana in the ordinance does not include industrial hemp; it also excludes, “fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination or the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food drink or other product.”

Spangler concluded by saying, “We’re on the right track.”

City Attorney Gene Farish presented the board with Ordinance 840, which had been through a number of revisions, for a final reading. The ordinance addresses motor vehicle noise levels and other noise.

The council unanimously approved the amendment, which limits vehicle noise to below 80 decibels at a distance of 25 feet. Mufflers are required on all vehicles to help prevent unnecessary noise.

Vehicle sound systems are also covered in the ordinance requiring that they be kept at a level where they are not “plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet from the vehicle…” In order to operate a system that exceeds the limit a permit is available from the city clerk. Even if a permit is issued it can only be used between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The ordinance also states that, “machinery, equipment, loudspeakers, music, device, or other noise from any residence, business or other property which unreasonably disturbs any person or neighborhood between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.,” is unlawful.

Authorized emergency vehicles and their sirens and horns are not included in the ordinance.

A full copy of both ordinances is available from the city at 4 Chico Camino in Monte Vista. They can also be reached at 852-2692.

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