The Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday night temporarily punted at the prospect of enacting a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries within their city limits. They decided that they’d rather first confer with the Lincoln County Commission and County Counsel Wayne Belmont. Belmont spearheaded a temporary moratorium for areas of the county that are outside city limits. Depoe Bay Councilors said they don’t know enough about the state’s latest legislation allowing locally declared moratoriums. If it turns out the council wants a moratorium, they will have to make up their minds by May 1st. Once enacted it cannot remain in effect for longer than a year. The new state law is aimed at giving cities and counties enough time to develop their own regulations on where such dispensaries can locate, operate and during what hours. So, no decision yet from Depoe Bay – they want to talk to Belmont first.
Meanwhile, Newport has enacted a moratorium until it develops its own rules. But Waldport will not enact a moratorium – instead they are moving ahead while they establish regulations. Toledo is pursuing the same strategy. Taxing opportunities are part of the thinking of both city councils. Lincoln City has not indicated exactly how they’ll proceed but they’ve got until May 1st to make up their minds.
On other Depoe Bay issues, city councilors tried to hammer out a new lease on public restrooms down on the waterfront from the Robison family, but got caught up in what some called technical jargon which made Council President Zeke Olsen uncomfortable. Eventually the council assigned Olsen to meet with property owner Fred Robison to smooth out the lease language and bring it back to the council for consideration.
The council also put off a decision whether to accept a gift of a parking lot in downtown Depoe Bay from the Henry and Louise Granat Living Trust. It’s just uphill from Highway 101 behind the first row of businesses along the main drag. The Granats want to donate the property to the city but only if the city agrees to keep it a parking lot forever. The council said no dice and sent a letter to the Granats indicating their terms of the gift which makes no such commitment.
And the council put off any decision on who to hire to do a profession video on why tourists should make Depoe Bay their vacation headquarters. Well known Oregon Coast outdoor videographer Howard Shippey gave the council a proposal that was also endorsed by the city’s Economic Development Committee (EDC). The EDC based their recommendation on what they called the quality of the video and the likelihood that Shippey would deliver a quality tourism attraction product as he has already delivered to Newport and other coastal communities.
But City Councilor Barbara Leff said she has not seen any of Shippey’s work and that she would prefer to issue a request for proposals (RFPs) so that a wider announcement can attract more bids. The council said they would have a representative from the EDC at the next council meeting along with examples of Shippey’s work to view and evaluate.
In other council action the council voted unanimously to reappoint current city budget committee member Bruce Silver for another term. Silver is a 24 year resident of Depoe Bay and bluntly told the council that he has seen some questionable city expenditures that troubles him and that he intends to get to the bottom of what’s happening with that.