DFS City Council approves marijuana moratorium

In the November 2016 general election, Florida voters approved State Amendment 2, “The Compassionate Use Act.” Walton County approved it by over 70 percent.  DeFuniak Springs voting precincts showed over 60 percent approval of the state statute change that would legalize cultivation, production and dispensing of medicinal cannabis.
On Jan. 23, the DeFuniak Springs City Council was presented with an ordinance that would establish a temporary moratorium on the amendment within the city limits.
The ordinance cites the need for determinations to be made by local governments as to how to they plan to control the growth and distribution. Included in the ordinance is the matter of marijuana being illegal under federal law.
Temporary is defined as “Beginning on the effective date of this Ordinance and continuing for a period of 240 days, or less if provided by an ordinance by the City Council.”
The ordinance would allow the city staff, including the planning department, to study the impact of medicinal marijuana activities on residents and businesses.
The council unanimously approved to proceed with the ordinance, which requires legal advertising and allows for public input.
Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative (CHELCO) was permitted city annexation of properties it owns off U.S. 331 N. on Jan. 9. In its requests to the city regarding the property is permission to change land zoning to conform with its intended usage This requires an ordinance. At the City Council Jan. 24 meeting, the first reading of the ordinance that would change the use was read. It will require another advertisement  for adoption.
The property is in part zoned residential, the changes require small scale amendments and rezoning. CHELCO plans to move some of its offices, now located on Baldwin Ave, to the U.S. 331property. The request involves five undeveloped parcels totally 7.27 acres south of the operation center.
DeFuniak Springs Code Enforcement Officer Dusty Beck requested a workshop to study and review City Code 162. It defines how the city should enforce code violations and a definition of an enforcement board.