WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Lincoln City poised to join Newport and the county to ban medical marijuana outlets – at least temporarily

Medical Marijuana The Oregonian photo

Medical Marijuana
The Oregonian photo

Lincoln City City Councilors Monday night are expected to join Newport and the county is outlawing medical marijuana dispensaries for up to a year in order to give the council to study the laws allowing their existence and to refine rules as to exactly where the dispensaries may be located. According to the city attorney, there is just enough vagueness in the state’s last piece of permissive legislation to create some legitimate questions on just where those legal locations are. The city attorney said although the new state law outlines permitted areas as in commercial, industrial and mixed-use zones, there is some question as to whether there are possible loop holes in the definitions of those zones.

City Manager David Hawker also pointed out that with Newport and the county passing temporary moratoriums of their own for similar reasons, if Lincoln City doesn’t pass one of its own, the town could get more than its fair share of whatever number of dispensaries may crop up. Staff says there are already three serious shoppers for locations for dispensaries within the city limits of Lincoln City.

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So for these reasons alone staff is asking the city council to enact a temporary ban effective May 1st. Although the ban would likely run only until January 1st of next year, it could be extended to the maximum length as provided in state law which is through May 1st of next year. If Lincoln City passes a moratorium, it’ll join Newport and the county in that vein, with Depoe Bay still pondering whether it should follow suit. The Depoe Bay council takes up the moratorium question at its Tuesday evening meeting. Many say all this maneuvering and planning could be for naught if Oregon voters approve recreational marijuana in the November election at which point the entire matter may become moot.

The council will also be voting on whether to award a contract to a local logging firm to thin more trees at the Agness Creek Open Space area north of Southwest Bard Road. Trout Mountain Forestry, which has already selectively logged nearby open space areas for enhanced appreciation of open space, is also on tap to do a second phase thinning job.

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And the council will once again be discussing several important elements dealing with the city’s vacation rental dwelling ordinance. No new public testimony will be allowed since the official public input record was closed a number of weeks ago. Councilors have been reviewing all that information as they continue to move forward on the VRD ordinance re-vamp.

The Lincoln City City Council will get down to business Monday night, 6pm, at City Hall, third floor.

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