Before we jump into the meetings, two things. First, I want to emphasize how important it is for the City of Sierra Vista to receive your input on the Citywide Parks Master Plan. These parks have the power to bring people in our neighborhoods and community together. Thanks to the pandemic (and I write that sarcastically), we are seeing now more than ever before, how important in-person social interaction is. If we want our parks to be a place that brings Sierra Vistans from all walks of life together, then we need people of all ages and backgrounds to help direct how those parks will look. So please provide your comments and ideas by Friday, March 12, if you haven't already. Also, big thanks to those of you who took the time to provide feedback on the Veterans Memorial Park Master Plan!
Second, the council voted 5 -2 in favor of adopting an amendment to the City Code regarding marijuana establishments and prohibiting its use on public property. These changes will not be in effect until March 13, 2022. The exact changes made and how it will appear in the code can be read here.
After attending the Planning and Zoning meeting regarding this amendment, carefully reviewing the language myself, taking into consideration all of the comments we've received, and having two work sessions that led to good discussions with my fellow council members, I decided to vote in favor of the amendment for the following reasons:
While Prop 207 passed with 60% of the vote statewide, what I was more concerned about was how the people of Sierra Vista voted. After looking up the results in the General Election on our County website, I found that out of all the voters in Cochise County, when only looking at voters in Sierra Vista, 54% of them voted in favor of the prop.
The law is written to limit the number of active dispensaries in each county and statewide. Because of this and our local zoning buffers, the concern that a "marijuana district" would develop in Sierra Vista is not warranted.
The changes in the law will still affect us whether a marijuana establishment is present in Sierra Vista city limits or just outside the city limits, so we might as well benefit from the potential local sales tax revenue. This comes out to about $115,000 (in the 3rd year of operations) based on the methodology used by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Staff on their Fiscal Analysis of Prop 207. This would be additional revenue to our general fund with no tax increase.
Cochise County has over 4,000 medical marijuana cardholders. I was unable to get a number specific to Sierra Vista, but I assume a fair number of those live in City limits. If only medical or dual marijuana establishments are allowed, we would be forcing our medical marijuana cardholders to leave Sierra Vista anytime they needed to buy more to manage pain, etc. This is because there are currently no more medical or dual licenses available statewide.
In a unanimous vote, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval.
Work Session for Tuesday, February 9th
Agenda with video timestamps:
Presentation and Discussion:
February 9, 2021 Council Meeting Agenda Items: Call to Order Roll Call Invocation Pledge of Allegiance Item 1: Acceptance of the Agenda Awards and Presentations Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation for Outgoing Commissioners City Manager’s Report: Upcoming Meetings, Bid Openings, and Bid Awards Consent Agenda Item 2 Item 2.1 Approval of the Regular City Council Meeting Minutes of January 14, 2021 Item 2.2 Resolution 2021-008, Appointment of George N. Fisher, Jr. to the Planning and Zoning Commission Item 2.3 Resolution 2021-009, Appointment of Rachel Gray, Carolyn Umphrey, and Sarah Pacheco to the Sierra Vista Metropolitan Planning Organization Board of Directors Public Hearings Item 3 Resolution 2021–010, new license, limited liability-type of ownership for a Series 12 Liquor License for Martha Carrillo on behalf of 143 Street Tacos Carniceria LLC Item 4 Ordinance 2021-001, Proposed Text Amendment to Sierra Vista Development Code, Section 151.22.006, Matrix of Use Permissions by Zoning District, Manufactured Home Residence (MHR) District, to permit up to 30 percent of the total lots in a manufactured home subdivision to have recreational vehicles Item 5 Ordinance 2021-002, Amendments to Chapter 151 of the City Code of Ordinances, Section 151.02.004, Definitions, Section 151.06.005, Medical Marijuana Dispensary, and Section 151.22.006, Matrix of Use Permissions by Zoning Districts, and Declaring an Emergency New Business Item 6 Resolution 2021-011, Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Sierra Vista and the Arizona Department of Transportation for Exchange of Crash Data Item 7 Resolution 2021-012, Arizona Department of Homeland Security-Operation Stonegarden Grant Call to the Public Comments and Requests of the Council Adjournment
Council Executive Report
Report on Recent Trips, Meetings, and Future Meetings
Future Discussion Items and Council Requests
COVID-19 Status Report
City Council Meeting for Thursday, February 11th
Agenda with video timestamps:
Pledge of Allegiance
Item 1 Acceptance of the Agenda
Awards and Presentations
Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to Outgoing Commissioners
City Manager’s Report: Upcoming Meetings, Bid Openings and Bid Awards
Item 2.1 Approval of the Regular City Council Meeting Minutes of January 14, 2021
Item 2.2 Resolution 2021-008, Appointment of George N. Fisher, Jr. to the Planning and Zoning Commission