At the Town of Norwood’s monthly meeting, held on Oct. 9, board members discussed two different types of moratoriums, or temporary bans, in their agenda.
One included a discussion of the moratorium on marijuana, which has been in effect in the town since 2013, after the people of Wright’s Mesa strongly opposed the idea of either medical or recreational sales and said so during public meetings.
Mayor Kieffer Parrino said he and other board members have recently been asked to reconsider the moratorium, which prevented retail sales of marijuana. He thinks perhaps the public opinion has changed since 2013.
Parrino told The Norwood Post that the board wanted to get direction on what the next steps in the process were for making marijuana available for retails sales in town. Last night board members met for a work session on that subject with the town’s attorney Herb McHarg.
Parrino said he agreed it was time to revisit the idea. Town Administrator Patti Grafmyer said no decisions would be made in the work session.
“I think we are in a place we have done enough research,” he said “Other towns have gone through the red tape.”
Parrino also said that he guessed after lifting the moratorium, a ballot issue may be next so that voters could decide.
Also, some community members attended the town meeting to find out more about the re-vote on the development moratorium. Since August, many folks have been worried about the possibility of a Dollar General store being established in Norwood. While there is no Dollar General currently being established, some people want to make sure that no formula businesses are ever permitted in town.
In the town’s August meeting, board members voted down the idea of a moratorium on development, 3-2.
In September, though, Geodele Vanhille gave a presentation with several community signatures asking for a re-vote. Then, town board members agreed to discuss the issue again and said they’d consider a re-vote in October.
Those pushing for the moratorium re-vote have said they want to buy time in order to tighten development regulations regarding formula businesses, as not to negatively affect existing businesses in town and to also preserve Norwood’s small-town charm.
While some were expecting a revote to happen at last week’s meeting, Gretchen Wells, who is the town’s clerk, said the petition which had circulated to gather signatures was not valid. According to Wells, the petition couldn’t be considered official.
“So we couldn't vote on the development moratorium,” Parrino said. “People thought it would go to a vote, but it wasn't done correctly.”
“Goedele didn’t format the petition properly, but she has the correct format now,” Wells told The Norwood Post on Tuesday. As of press time, Wells said she hadn’t received an updated petition, and she doesn’t know for sure when or if she will receive an updated version. Still, she said by statute the town must keep the petition for 40 days before the board gets it.
“It’s a lengthy process,” said Wells.