Dolores voters will decide whether to allow retail marijuana stores and facilities during the April 7 election.
The Town Board agreed to put the topic on the ballot after a motion Dec. 16 by Mayor Chad Wheelus.
“It is time for us to come to a decision around this matter,” he said. The measure passed unanimously.
The ballot will ask voters whether the town should allow retail and medical marijuana facilities, including for retail cultivation, testing and manufacturing facilities. The ballot question will also ask whether there should be an additional transaction tax collected by the town on each commercial marijuana sale.
The deadline for ballot language to be drawn up is Feb. 4.
To allow time for voters to decide on the matter, the board previously extended the moratorium on retail pot facilities in town to Dec. 31, 2020
If the voters approve retail pot sales, the town would draw up regulations for facilities and while meeting state standards. Permitting would begin Jan. 1, 2021. For example, the town would determine shop locations whether they would limit the number of shops, town officials said.
The land use code, which is being revised, also would be changed to address the new businesses. Code enforcement, security and mitigation of impacts such as odor and lighting also would be addressed. If the measure fails, a permanent ban on retail marijuana sales would go into effect.
Also on the April 7 ballot, voters will decide who will serve on four board positions.
Terms that expire in April include those for Mayor Chad Wheelus, Duvall Truelsen, Robert “Cody”Folsom and James Biard.
Nomination petitions for town board candidates may be picked up Jan. 7 at Town Hall and must be turned in by Jan. 27.
Residents who support the use of off-highway vehicles on city streets plan to petition the matter onto the April 7 ballot. Currently, ATVs are banned on town streets.
Advocates say the town and trail users would benefit by allowing OHVs on certain town roads to access San Juan National Forest trails 2 miles away.
Opponents say ATVs would create a noise and traffic nuisance for the densely packed residential town, which lies in a deep valley.
To petition a question onto the April 7 ballot, citizens must gather petitions from at least 5% of the 744 town voters, or 37 signatures.