ASHLAND, Ore. –Three weeks after allowing dispensaries to apply for business licenses, Ashland city leaders are considering more restrictions on where those facilities can open. The move comes as neighbors raise concerns about the locations of those dispensaries.
The city has received six business license applications to open dispensaries, including one at 400 Williamson Way. The dispensary has not yet opened, and the building is currently empty. The address is in a commercial zone, but sits across the street from a neighborhood. People living along Williamson Way said they were concerned about having a dispensary so close to an area with kids.
“This just doesn’t seem to be the place to be dispensing,” said Al Ives, who lives down the street from the planned dispensary.
Ives and other neighbors have written letters to the Ashland City Council and Planning Commission asking them to look into zoning rules regarding dispensaries. The council is considering several options, including prohibiting dispensaries from the downtown business area, or imposing a short moratorium to allow committees to consider the rules. Currently, state rules prohibit dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of a school.
“You want neighbors to have some reasonable transitions between commercial areas and residential areas,” said Councilor Pam Marsh. “Sometimes that’s challenging to achieve, but that’s our goal.”
The Planning Commission will hold a meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. to discuss zoning rules about dispensaries. The meeting will be held at the Council Chambers at 1175 E. Main St.