Millwood amends rules on marijuana licenses

The Millwood City Council unanimously amended business license regulations at its Tuesday meeting in response to state medical marijuana laws.

The changes are intended to protect city officials and staff from violating federal law.

A year ago, the council instituted a moratorium on the establishment and licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries and collective gardens to allow staff to investigate the state law’s ramifications for the city. That moratorium was extended once, and was set to expire Oct. 6.

Under the revised rules, City Attorney Brian Werst said, a business license would be required for any dispensary, collective garden or establishment or activity related to the medical marijuana regulations.

“The key to this ordinance is that operations of any business venture licensed by the city will have to be in compliance with federal, state and local laws,” Werst said. “To the extent the city has a concern; they have the right to request documentation. If it’s not provided, the city has the ability to revoke that business license.”

The city code enforcement officer was granted the authority to enforce the ordinance with an appeal process defined within the ordinance. A fee of $100 was set to appeal any business license revocation.

The council also amended the traffic ordinance regarding commercial trucks in residential areas.

City Planner Tom Richardson said the intent of the current traffic ordinance was to prevent large trucks from taking shortcuts through residential areas, not to prevent a property owner from driving a work truck to their own property.

The amendment stipulates it is unlawful for any vehicle with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds to be driven on any street within the city except for city maintenance vehicles, public service vehicles, emergency vehicles or delivery vehicles. The variance allows vehicles to be parked off street for 24 hours at the personal residence of the driver responsible for the vehicle. The vehicle cannot be used for commercial purposes while parked or affect other property owners in the area.

The fine for violating the ordinance could cost the operator up to $250.

During public comments, resident Shirene Young asked council members about the status of Spokane Transit Authority’s proposed layover change for the Millwood transit route.

In August, STA planning director Karl Otterstrom presented two options in response to asphalt damage caused by buses using the current layover spot on Bridgeport Avenue.

One proposed option requires designating a section of the Union Pacific railroad right-of-way on Euclid Avenue, just west of Argonne Road.

“The businesses on Euclid are very concerned about that,” Young said. “This is used so frequently by the ballet, by yoga, by a number of businesses.”

The second is on the north side of Dalton, where, Otterstrom said, several street parking spots near the Corner Door Fountain and Books would be eliminated and reserved for the bus.

Both proposed locations have sparked reaction from the Better for Business group in Millwood.

Mayor Dan Mork suggested members of the group write letters directly to STA.

Other news

• The next Millwood City Council meeting is Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Millwood City Hall, 9103 East Frederick. For more information, call Millwood City Hall at (509) 924-0960.

• The Millwood Teen Advisory Council is seeking new members. Students attending West Valley High School are encouraged to apply. If interested, contact Patty Peterson at (509) 924-0960.

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