Mora­to­ri­ums placed on mar­i­juana, mo­bile homes

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - MICHAEL BURCHFIEL Michael Burchfiel may be reached by email at mburch­fiel@nwadg.com.

SILOAM SPRINGS — The city’s Board of Direc­tors ap­proved a pair of mora­to­ri­ums June 20 to buy time for city code change on med­i­cal mar­i­juana and mo­bile home trailer parks.

The mora­to­ri­ums will tem­po­rar­ily pro­hibit ap­pli­ca­tions from be­ing made for med­i­cal mar­i­juana grow­ers and dis­pen­saries or for mo­bile home and man­u­fac­tured home de­vel­op­ments. City staff pro­posed a 180-day mora­to­rium to give the city gov­ern­ment a chance to see fi­nal­ized rules from the state gov­ern­ment, which at the time of the meet­ing had only pub­lished a draft copy of pro­posed med­i­cal mar­i­juana rules, said City Ad­min­is­tra­tor Phillip Pat­ter­son.

Pat­ter­son also noted any pro­hi­bi­tion of med­i­cal mar­i­juana by the city could not orig­i­nate with a mem­ber of city gov­ern­ment. In­stead, a mem­ber of the pub­lic would have to gather enough sig­na­tures to get the is­sue on the bal­lot for a vote. Though the state con­sti­tu­tion amend­ment that al­lows med­i­cal mar­i­juana passed in Ben­ton County, it failed by a vote of 48 per­cent for to 52 per­cent against in Siloam Springs’ vot­ing precincts.

Direc­tor Frank John­son agreed with the need for a mora­to­rium.

“I don’t get the feel­ing any­one knows what’s go­ing on,” John­son said.

Direc­tor Steve Beers also was in fa­vor of the tem­po­rary ban while the state fi­nal­izes its rules and he noted the mora­to­rium would not pro­hibit ci­ti­zens from ob­tain­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana from other cities.

Direc­tor Brad Burns said he was in fa­vor of med­i­cal mar­i­juana, and said the sales of med­i­cal mar­i­juana would help the el­derly pop­u­la­tion and vet­er­ans. Burns also said the tax rev­enue the city could re­al­ize from med­i­cal mar­i­juana sales de­served con­sid­er­a­tion.

Burns also said that he was in fa­vor of the mora­to­rium due to the un­cer­tainty over state rules. Direc­tor Carol Smi­ley mo­tioned for the ap­proval of the res­o­lu­tion, and it was ap­proved 7-0.

City At­tor­ney Jay Wil­liams pre­sented the sec­ond mora­to­rium, which is­sued a 120-day ban on mo­bile home and man­u­fac­tured home de­vel­op­ments.

“We are very aware of the need for low-cost hous­ing in this com­mu­nity,” Wil­liams said. Wil­liams said the city needed some time to ex­am­ine its code on mo­bile home parks, as the code had not been up­dated in 16 years. The last ap­proved mo­bile home devel­op­ment was built more than 20 years ago.

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