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1st Half of February 2021 at City Hall

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

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.

Item 5 Ord
. 2021-002 Code Amendments - R
Download 2021-002 CODE AMENDMENTS - R • 6.30MB

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.