Our preview of this meeting was published here.
The Council voted to bring the budget to the Financial Town Referendum on June 5, with no further changes.
The Council held the official Public Hearing of Ordinance #401 for Cannabis Retail Sales. Planning Commission Chair Ruth Platner spoke to recommend caution because sales are generally by cash which invites armed robberies and there are other potential problems. She stated that the Planning Commission suggested changes: restricting sales to the C-3 zoning district, requiring a special use process which invokes town judgment on each application, odor control, requiring armed security, and a larger residential buffer. Council member Stokes explained that he watched the Planning Commission meeting, had a discussion with our police Chief, and visited the cannabis retail store in Exeter. As a result he proposed several changes to the ordinance. Because of the extent of changes discussed, the Council voted to continue the hearing until the June 12, 2023 Council meeting and advertise an updated version to be considered then.
The Council had a discussion about drafting restrictions on public use of cannabis products. A draft ordinance for discussion starts here. The Council voted to bring this to an "introduction and first reading" at the May 22, 2023 Council meeting with the idea that the ordinance could be approved in June, before most of the summer tourist season.
The Financial Town Referendum Will be Held on Monday, June 5, 2023, from 8:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.: VOTING OPTIONS: 1. Mail ballots will be sent to every registered voter; voted mail ballots must be received by the Board of Canvassers by Monday, June 5, 2023, at 8:00 P.M. 2. In-person voting will be at the Charlestown Town Hall, Council Chambers on Monday, June 5, 2023, from 8:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M.
The meeting adjourned at 9:24 pm.