Sparse attendance for two public hearings

Linda Trest
Staff Writer

Back-to-back public hearings on two separate issues were held last Thursday at City Hall.

At 6 p.m. the first hearing opened concerning changes in the city’s proposed amendment to its zoning code to include allowing medical marijuana cultivation and processing in an industrial zone.

Jeb Maciejewski queried the board as to whether they knew how many had applied for permits do produce marijuana. He also stated that he felt the process had been rushed. 

City attorney Dave Streubel told those assembled that medical marijuana use had been overwhelmingly approved by Missouri voters. As a result, the Missouri constitution now states that “No local government shall prohibit Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities, Medical Marijuana Testing Facilities, Medical Marijuana-Infused Products Manufacturing Facilities, or Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facilities, or entities with a transportation certification either expressly or through the enactment of ordinances or regulations that make their operation unduly burdensome...”

When no one else indicated they wished to speak, the hearing was closed at 6:10 p.m.

Jim Hackstedt came in late and asked to speak to the issue. The board allowed him to do so off the record, since the hearing had closed. 

Hackstedt told the board he owned Foxboro Industries, located in the industrial park near where the proposed marijuana facility would be built. 

His strong objections to the facility were the odor it might produce and an attraction  of a criminal element. 

Streubel repeated what he had already said and added that the state already had in place stringent guidelines for such facilities. Including odor control.

The next hearing, concerning the rezoning of property 719 S. West End was then opened. 

The property is currently zoned city-owned and is the home of the former ambulance building. It has been sold and the current owner has requested that it be zoned R-1 for a single family dwelling. 

Billy Bowden, who owns property down the street, objected to the rezoning. He felt it could invite Section 8 housing which he does not want in his neighborhood. 

Maciejewski, who currently owns the property, said that he has someone interested in purchasing the building and there were no plans for Section 8 housing. 

Hackstedt objected partly on the grounds of safety issues on the nearby heli-pad. He was told that the fire department is charge of clearing a landing zone each time the heli-pad is needed. 

The second public hearing was adjourned and a special meeting was called to order to consider the two proposed ordinances. 

All aldermen were in attendance: Ward 1 Aldermen Ruth Haase and Angela Koepke and Ward 2 Aldermen Ed Adams and Kent Richardson. 

Concerning the changes to allow medical marijuana facilities in the industrial area, Koepke cast the only no vote.

For the rezoning issue, all aldermen agreed to the change except for Adams, who voted no. 

Both bills became new ordinances for the city.