By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sheridan approves pot moratorium

City Manager Frank Sheridan, in his report to the council, reviewed council discussion that took place at the March 17 meeting. In addition, councilors examined a new statute that gives a city or county the necessary authority.

The moratorium will remain in effect until 5 p.m. May 1, 2015, according to City Attorney Walt Gowell.

The ordinance adopting the moratorium gives the council ample time to study what regulations, if any, it should impose on a facility that operates in the city.

“No one knows that’s going to happen,” Sheridan said. “This just give us some time.”

At the March 17 meeting, Sheridan suggested dispensaries be limited to the city’s industrial zone, located to the west. However, part of that zone falls within 1,000 feet of the Delphian School, located to the north on Rock Creek Road, which would be in violation of a 1,000-foot school buffer mandated by the state.

By law, marijuana can’t be dispensed within 1,000 feet of a public or private school attended primarily by minors.

City staff has prepared and posted a map depicting the city’s 1,000-foot school buffers. To view it, visit, click on the council and planning meeting packets link for March 17, and then on the attachment 3 link.

Councilor Rene Quinones questioned what role the city’s planning commission might have in defining the regulations.

“We could be having meetings about meetings,” he said.

Gowell said the planning commission would not be required to weigh in on the matter.

In other business, the council heard a presentation from Superintendent Steve Sugg regarding the school district’s After School Program.

The program is now in its fifth year. It serves students in grades K-12.

It is being funded in part by a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant that is expiring. So it must be put on a self-sustaining basis by next fall.

The city strongly supports the program, as it provides students with a safe place to gather before and after school, along with nourishing meals, homework assistance and enrichment activities. It’s the city’s desire to partner with the school district to guarantee the program continues operating.

“The superintendent and I have spoken about a shortened program that would address the needs of both organizations and cost less,” Sheridan said in a report to the council. “The current program, because it is federally funded, probably has more bells and whistles than are needed.”

The council is next scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 21.

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