Council approves cannabis zoning ordinance

The Vandalia City Council on Monday approved an ordinance that defines adult-use cannabis businesses and establishes setbacks for those businesses.
The setbacks included in the ordinance approved are those recommended during a joint meeting of the city Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals on July 1.
The recommended setback limits for day cares, schools, retirement homes or residential areas are 500 feet for cannabis dispensaries, 200 feet for transporters and 400 feet for all other types, including craft growers, cultivation centers, infusers and processors.
The members of those two city bodies also agreed that the best zoning area for cannabis businesses would be in the western Interstate 70 exchange overlay that includes general commercial, light industrial, general industrial and agricultural.
They also agreed that the downtown area should be excluded in any zoning laws established for cannabis businesses.
During that meeting, City Administrator LaTisha Paslay announced that a reason for establishing local cannabis laws is that the city has been approached by a “potential prospect,” a craft grower interested in property in the western interchange area.
That action was approved unanimously by the five aldermen present for Monday’s meeting: Bret Brosman, Joel Rebbe, Mike Hobler, Dorothy Crawford and Russ Stunkel. Andy Lester, Ken Hubler and Steve Barker were absent.
The council also approved an ordinance amendment that allows current liquor license holders to obtain temporary licenses for catering events outside their businesses.
Under the ordinance, holders of C-2 and C-3 licenses can get licenses for off-premises service of alcoholic liquor or food, or both, with the license good for a 24-hour period.
The fee for the temporary permits is $50, and the fee can be waived by the mayor or city council “in the event the city is under an executive order by the (governor) due to a pandemic or any other matters that may cause said order.
During his report on Monday, Mayor Rick Gottman said that after receiving complaints from residents, he contacted a couple of gas stations to question why gas prices were higher in Vandalia than in other communities.
Gottman also said the community’s first Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the Vandalia Tourism Committee and Farmers’ Market Committee, went over very well.
Other markets are set for Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10, and at the Aug. 8 market, the Fayette County Farm Bureau will be handing out, as long as supplies last, a milk box full of Prairie Farms products.
Gottman also during his report commended Cemetery Sexton Sam Kerr for the repair of grave markers blown over during last week’s storm.
He also commended the work of Vandalia’s Beautification Committee, which has been working on the grounds of the Tourist Information Center, and committee members are looking at other things that can be done to improve the grounds.
Gottman also noted the work done by volunteers at Lincoln Park and Ruemmelin Park, and the flower-planting project of the Vandalia Soroptimists.
In praising those volunteers for their work throughout the community, the mayor said he is concerned about the future of those volunteer projects, due to the fact that younger volunteers are not coming forward.
In other action on Monday:
• The council approved the low bid of $26,099 from Hosick Motors in Vandalia for a 2020 Ram 1500 pickup truck for the cemetery department.
The bid from Arthur Young Inc. for a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado was $30,800.
• The council approved the low bid of $23,148 from Hosick Motors for a 2020 Ram 1500 pickup truck for the city water plant.
The bid from Arthur Young Inc. for a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado was $27,900.
• The council approved three Vandalia Lake lot transfers:
-No. 12, from Karen Garner of Highland to Dustin Fulk of Brownstown.
-No. 313, from Angie Thompson of Vandalia to Mark Stout of Vandalia.
-No. 314, from Dalton Wehrle of Vandalia to Elizabeth Williams of Vandalia.


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