By Whitney Bryen, Daily Camera
The number of pot shops in Lafayette could soon double — from one to two.
The Lafayette City Council on Tuesday night will consider a proposal for the city’s second retail marijuana dispensary.
Eric Ryant, owner of Herbal Wellness, Lafayette’s first and only retail dispensary, is proposing building a 2,981-square-foot shop southeast of U.S. 287 and South Boulder Road in the Lafayette Tech Center.
The front of the shop will be dedicated to the sale of retail marijuana, accessories, glass and apparel with a separate room for clones — immature plants that allow people to grow their own marijuana, Ryant said.
The proposal for Shaketown Dispensary, 1669 Coal Creek Drive, features a stone facade and landscaping that Ryant describes as “a Colorado look.”
The building would be more than double the size of Herbal Wellness, he said.
City staff call the building “visually interesting and unique” in a report to the City Council. The design complements nearby medical buildings along Old Laramie Trail, according to the report.
City regulations updated in April allow for three retail marijuana dispensaries in the city’s “green zone” — a commercial zone around the Lafayette Marketplace that is far enough away from schools to meet state setbacks.
Plans for a third dispensary are underway, but have not been submitted to the city, according to Mayor Christine Berg.
A lottery system held last spring determined which applicant would be allowed to move forward with plans for the final dispensary.
City spokeswoman Debbie Wilmot said in a text Monday that staff was unavailable to provide information because city offices were closed for Presidents Day.
Police Chief Rick Bashor said in an email Monday that he does not remember any calls related to incidents at Herbal Wellness, 400 W. South Boulder Road — which was converted from a medical marijuana to a retail dispensary after the city drafted regulations in 2014.
Records were unavailable due to the office closure Monday.
“The city did a good job implementing planning guidelines for the location and number of marijuana establishments,” Bashor said in the email. “This was done with consideration for growth and community impact. So far we are on track with that plan and the Police Department has not experienced any issues.”
The city’s regulations also allow for eight cultivation operations and medical marijuana-infused manufacturers.
The Shaketown proposal, which includes a site plan and architectural review, was unanimously approved by six members of the Planning Commission in attendance during a Jan. 26 meeting. The commission recommends approval by City Council with nine conditions, including updated sign aesthetics, landscaping changes and screening-in of mechanical equipment.
Berg said Ryant “is respectful and runs a good business.”
Berg, Mayor Pro Tem Gustavo Reyna and Councilman Brad Wiesley said they see no reason to deny the proposal and relish the opportunity to bring additional tax revenue to Lafayette.
“I look at the building more than the occupant because owners change and businesses move, so some other business could go into that building just as easily,” Wiesley said. “This is becoming a normalized part of business in Colorado.”
A public hearing is not scheduled for the proposal, which is part of the consent agenda. But members of the public can address the council during general public comments Tuesday and can suggest the item be moved off of the consent agenda for public discussion, Wiesley said.
Two additional site plan and architectural reviews are scheduled under the consent agenda for the Diamond Circle retail property south of Walmart and the Poet’s Walk Assisted Living Memory Care Facility in south Lafayette.
Councilwoman Alexandra Lynch said she did not want to comment on the proposal Monday prior to the public meeting, but defended the proposal’s placement on the consent agenda, saying, “I applaud the effort to normalize the whole thing and get people to stop making such a huge deal out of it.”