Farmersville makes more way for dispensaries
Council changes sensitive land uses requirement for churches from 1,000 feet to 300 feet
By Crystal Havner
Special to the Sun-Gazette
FARMERSVILLE – Now that Farmersville’s dispensaries are underway, if not already in operation, the City Council is beginning to make some changes to how close they can be to places already nearby.
Last Tuesday, May 28, Farmersville City Council voted to introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance 492 and approved the amendment to the City’s Cannabis Ordinance to clarify standards related to sensitive land uses. The council previously approved an ordinance which required a minimum distance between cannabis businesses and sensitive land uses, including schools (proposed school sites), school bus stops and evacuation sites, child care centers, youth-oriented facilities, parks and churches. That distance was set at 1,000 feet.
Then the City became aware that the Buddhist Temple located on Noble Avenue is just slightly more than 300 feet from one of the proposed cannabis sites. The Planning Commission proposed changing the distance for churches to 300 feet without changing the distance for the other sensitive land uses.
The council opened up a pubic hearing on the issue, but no one spoke on the topic. The council voted 3-0 to approve the change. Mayor Greg Gomez and council members Paul Boyer and Tina Hernandez voted in favor of the change. Mayor Pro-Tem Rosa Vasquez and councilmember Ruben Macareno were absent.
In other news
The council also approved a general plan land use amendment for parcels located at 483 W. Noble and 515 W. Noble Avenue. The parcels will change from service commercial to light industrial. This will allow Token Farms and Valley Pure to open cannabis-based businesses on the land.
The council also approved a sidewalk vending fee of $44. A new State Regulations took effect which prohibits cities from banning sidewalk vendors. The cities can establish regulations and a permit process.
According City Attorney Kenneth Jorgensen the vendors will be issued permits to put on their carts.
“It will be something that will be highly visible,” he said. “That way code enforcement officers will know right away if the vendor is compliant or not.”
The council was also pleased with the Memorial Day Parade.
Boyer said, “I just want to thank all those people that volunteered. Without them the parade would not be happening. They all work so hard.”
Hernandez said, “It was a great Memorial Day Parade. I just want to say ‘well done’ to all those that worked so hard to pull it off.
The council also began discussion to change the Stage IV Water Conservation alert to Stage III. The council felt like they needed more information and the possible change will be discussed at a future meeting.