Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | 2 a.m.
The Las Vegas City Council will decide Wednesday whether to allow staff to move forward crafting regulations that would pave the way for medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. The council will also review proposed routes for a new horse and carriage service that wants to operate downtown when they meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 495 S. Main St.
Medical marijuana decision
With state regulations for medical marijuana businesses nearing completion, the Las Vegas City Council will have to decide soon whether it wants to allow dispensaries within its jurisdiction.
On Wednesday, council members will have to confront the fundamental question of whether to authorize medical marijuana businesses and if so, to what extent they’ll be allowed in the city.
If council members agree they want dispensaries and other medical marijuana establishments, they’ll likely direct staff to begin crafting zoning regulations to govern the industry.
Clark County is leading the way among local governments and will likely be the first in the valley to enact medical marijuana regulations, setting the stage for an application and licensing process starting in April. Las Vegas and other cities have taken a more measured approach, issuing moratoriums to delay development or, in the case of Boulder City, passing outright bans on medical marijuana businesses.
A moratorium passed by the Las Vegas City Council in September preventing any medical marijuana applications being filed with the city expired March 17, and on Wednesday, the council will also discuss whether to extend the ban for another six months.
If the moratorium is extended, it would last until September or until the city had put in place zoning and licensing regulations allowing medical marijuana businesses.
Horse-drawn carriages come to downtown
While debate rages in New York City about a possible end to the city’s horse-drawn carriages, the industry appears to just be getting started in Las Vegas.
On Wednesday, the council will review proposed routes for a new business that wants to shepherd people around downtown Las Vegas in horse-drawn carriages.
The routes would allow carriages to operate in an area bounded by Main Street on the west, Maryland Parkway on the east, Stewart Avenue on the north and Bonneville Avenue on the south. Carriages would be prohibited from traveling on Las Vegas Boulevard, Fremont Street, Maryland Parkway and Casino Center Boulevard south of Carson Avenue. They would also face other route restrictions depending on the time and day of the week.
The carriages would pick up and drop off passengers at a loading zone near 4th Street and Ogden Avenue.
Horse and carriage rides are allowed under city code, but require route approval by the City Council before operations can begin, something the owners of the business hope to secure Wednesday.
Affordable housing land sale
A 3.39 acre parcel of city-owned land near Decatur Boulevard and Vegas Drive has been targeted as a proposed site for a 60-unit affordable housing complex.
On Wednesday, the council will consider signing off on a land-sale agreement that would allow the Community Development Programs Center of Nevada to purchase the property for $470,000, fair market value according to two appraisals.
The organization plans to build an affordable housing project consisting of at least 60 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units plus a clubhouse and other amenities. The project would be built at Laurelhurst and Westmoreland Drives.
If the project fails and isn’t built, the city would have the opportunity to buy the land back at the original sale price.