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DeBeque Retail Pot Faces School Zoning Hurdle

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Updated: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:29:21 MST

DEBEQUE, Colo. - School zoning could prove to be the biggest hurdle in DeBeque’s hopes to use retail marijuana to revitalize their downtown.


DeBeque's planning committee held a public meeting Wednesday to find out their biggest zoning hurdles and hear concerns from the public.


The Board of Trustee's expressed their desire to place a marijuana shop in the downtown core to lure in outside business, but the size of the town soon became an issue.


Federal regulations say no marijuana establishment can be within 1,000 feet of a school ground, which almost eliminates pot shop possibilities in the entire downtown area. But at the same time, Colorado state law doesn't explicitly require a school zoning distance, and Glenwood Springs has adopted only 500 foot requirements.


Some town officials raised concerns that if retail marijuana is not located in the town and is zoned towards the highways it could defeat the measure's main goal of the town's economic growth.


“If you were out by the highway… you're less likely to have folks find their way to downtown DeBeque,” said contracted town planner Davis Farrar. “I think they would pull off the highway like you do for gas, and get back on the highway and head on their way.”


There was no concrete action taken at the end of the meeting. The committee decided to learn more about zoning codes and potential federal intervention before making official plans.

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