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Council holds public hearing for Marijuana Zoning Ordinance

Lennox City Council met Monday, August 9th and with no visitors to be heard opened the public hearings.

The first public hearing was for Ordinance 624: Marijuana Zoning Ordinance. The first reading was approved. Ordinance 624 is the City’s second marijuana ordinance of the year, and it does not distinguish between medical or recreational uses. This ordinance was presented to the Planning Commission at their June meeting, and received a recommendation to approve from that Commission.

City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats explained, “The ordinance allows cannabis-based businesses to operate within the agricultural, light industrial, general business, and central business districts. However, the ordinance also contains a provision requiring such businesses to operate at least 1000 feet from schools and daycares. As a result, there are somewhat predictable places in which these businesses can operate in Lennox. There are also requirements for security and age-restrictions for such locations.”

It was noted the ordinance is largely tailored from the zoning ordinance passed by Lincoln County earlier this year.

The second public hearing was for Resolution 2021-8-9-01: Vacating Industrial Street. The Resolution passed.

This resolution came about because in the development agreement between the City of Lennox, Wilson Trailer, and the Lennox Area Development Corporation the City agreed to vacate Industrial Street south of Oriole Avenue in order to facilitate an expansion at Wilson Trailer. Wilson Trailer has agreed to an easement for the City’s utilities in that location.

The third public hearing for Ordinance 626: Rezoning 805 North Juniper Street was also approved as a first reading.

Vander Plaats explained, “This is the first of many re-zonings we expect in the process of building out the new Countryside subdivision. The property has an active building permit for a single-family home, and the preliminary plan for the Countryside subdivision identified an intent to zone this property as R2 – MultiFamily Residential.”

The R2 zone is being sought for these properties due to the more favorable setbacks allowed in the R2 zone.

After the public hearings Council approved the consent agenda, including the minutes from the previous meeting, the City Administrator’s Report, Claims, City Engineer’s Report and the Finance Report.

Councilman Bill Daugherty asked Vander Plaats how things were going with the Cenex/neighbor concerns. Readers might recall that neighbors to the local convenience store and gas station expressed frustration about idling semi trucks at all hours of the day and night. Vander Plaats expressed that the business was providing a map of locations that are better suited to allow trucks to run.

With no old business to consider, Council ticked off the items on the agenda for new business.

Up for discussion was the agreement with the City of Hartford to share a building inspector/code official. It was noted in the proposal that the 40 hour position would be split 50/50 between the two communities, a suggested pay rate of $20-$25 per hour. Hartford will be the hiring entity and offer insurance and all other employment costs would be shared.

Council accepted the Fiscal Year 2020 Audit. This year’s audit had numerous deficiencies. Finance Officer Denise Hanson noted that some of that stemmed from the change from modified cash accounting to accrual accounting.

Vander Plaats noted, “Overall, this is the most challenging audit report I’ve received.”

The audit report is available here.

2020 Audit Report City of Lennox
Download PDF • 2.39MB

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