Panel rejects dispensary request

After spending more than $25,000 to renovate an abandoned gas station into what he had hoped would be a thriving business location, an area businessman said he will likely sell the building.
Justin Greenfield said he doesn’t have a choice but to put the property at 10 N. Kimbell Road on the market after the Yukon Board of Adjustments rejected his request for a variance to the city’s medical marijuana law.
Greenfield had planned to lease the building to a com-
pany called Hunter Grace LLC, which would operate as a medical marijuana dispensary.
However, the building site is less than 300 feet from an existing medical marijuana dispensary.
In addition, the building also is within 300 feet of a church. Both would be a violation of the city’s ordinance that regulates where dispensaries can be located.

The city ordinance says the minimum distance between a dispensary and another dispensary, or a church, park or daycare is 300 feet.
Greenfield said to get a city business permit, he needed a variance.
Greenfield said he bought the property and invested heavily in renovating the building after receiving assurances from city officials that he fell outside of the limitations.
However, once actual measurements were taken, the distance was too close.
His attorney also argued that how the property distance is measured is questionable.
The distance is from the closest entrance to the property.
Greenfield’s attorney also pointed out that the business would be located across a heavily traveled highway from the church, and there was a large lot separating the building from the other dispensary.
However, the board of adjustments appeared early in the meeting to oppose allowing the variance, more so because of the church’s location.
The Good Fight Church is located about 250 feet to the south, across Main Street, from the building.
Another church is to be located to the west of the Good Fight Church in the near future and the Cowboy Church is located just to the east.
Joe Horn, who chairs the panel, said he wasn’t as concerned about the distance to the other dispensary as he is with the distance to the churches.
“I don’t like this being next to a church,” Horn said.
Other members of the panel agreed.
Mitchell Hort, who is the director of development services, said how the city measures distances is set out by the city ordinance.
The ordinance, itself, was challenged last year shortly after it was enacted. District Judge Paul Hesse upheld it as being valid.
The ordinances limits where medical marijuana businesses can locate. The distances between similar businesses, as well as churches, parks, daycare centers, jails and recreational facilities is set by the city.
However, it also limits how close the business can be to a school. That distance, which is 1,000 feet, is set by the state.
Meanwhile, the owner of the existing dispensary also urged the panel to reject Greenfield’s request, saying that having two dispensaries so close to one another would hurt business for both.
The panel eventually voted unanimously to follow the city’s staff recommendation to reject the variance.
After the meeting, Greenfield said that while he wanted to do business in Yukon, bringing about 12 new jobs to the community, it isn’t to be.
“I will probably sell it. I don’t really have any other choice,” Greenfield said of the building.

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