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City of Estacada hosts open house, online survey to ask residents about keeping, removing or changing restrictions

Estacada community members recently considered whether or not they would like to see a change in the limitations surrounding retail marijunana sales within city limits.

Estacada city staff and councilors hosted a town hall on the subject Monday, July 19, and facilitated an online survey for those unable to attend the event.

While Estacada's municipal code does not outright ban retail sales of marijuana, with zoning and buffer limitations in place, there are few, if any, viable spaces for a dispensary within city limits.

The only two zones that allow for retail marijunana sales are general commercial and highway commercial. Because it is a conditional use in these areas, approval from the Estacada Planning Commission would be required.

There also are buffers that prohibit dispensaries from specific areas. Per state law, retail marijuana sales cannot occur in residential zones or within 1,000 feet of a school. The city of Estacada has additional buffers that prevent marijunana sales within 1,000 feet of a church or park.

Open house attendees and survey respondents were able to voice their support for several options, including keeping the restrictions as they are, reducing the buffer around parks and churches to 500 feet, removing the buffer from parks and churches altogether and removing any restrictions beyond the state's requirements.

The city received around 400 responses to the online survey, and around 30 people attended the open house.

City councilors will discuss the responses at a future meeting. If they opt to move forward with any changes, it would take the form of an amendment to the city code.

Marijuana tax sent to voters

During a meeting Monday, July 12, Estacada City Councilors agreed to ask voters about a tax on marijuana in the November election. Oregon state law allows cities to impose a 3% tax on sales for medical marijuana processors, medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational marijuana producers, recreational marijuana processors, recreational marijuana wholesalers and recreational marijuana retailers, if the tax is approved by voters.


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