The Las Cruces City Council will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St. for a regularly scheduled meeting.
City Council will discuss and consider a proposed Ordinance that could repeal and replace sections 38-21, 38-31A, 38-32, 38-33C, 38-33G, 38-33I, 38-53, and 38-54 of Chapter 38, Zoning, of the Las Cruces Municipal Code (LCMC), to address cannabis uses within the City.
In April 2021, the state of New Mexico legalized cannabis for adult recreational use with the passage of House Bill 2, which includes the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA). Chapter 38, Zoning, of the LCMC currently remains silent on these types of uses. Therefore, it is recommended by the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission that cannabis uses be added in compliance with the CRA.
The proposed amendments affect various sections of Chapter 38 of the LCMC and add definitions for Cannabis Industry, Cannabis Research Laboratory, Cannabis Retailer, Community Garden, Horticulture, and Cannabis Microbusiness. Further, retail uses (Cannabis Retailer) were added to commercial zones (C-1, C-2, C-3) with conditions, production and manufacturing uses (Cannabis Industry) were added to industrial zones (M-1/M-2, M-3) with conditions, Cannabis Research Laboratories were added to industrial zones with conditions (MT, M-1/M-2, M-3), and small integrated cannabis businesses (Cannabis Microbusiness) were added as allowed with a special use permit in the rural single-family zones (EE, REM), similar to existing allowances for small breweries and wineries.
The amendments do not include any special overlay zones. The conditions or special provisions associated with those uses include:
- All uses must be 300 feet from a school or daycare, the greatest allowance permitted by the state.
- Retail uses must be 300 feet from single-family zones and no closer than 1,000 feet from one another unless a special use permit is obtained.
- No on-site consumption can occur in the C-1 district.
- In addition to a special use permit for the cannabis microbusiness in the EE and REM zones, the business must be ancillary to a single-family residence, must be fully enclosed in an accessory structure, must be 100 feet away from adjacent residences, and must only sell products produced on-site.
The City conducted an array of public engagement opportunities in July to allow the public to discuss cannabis regulation, including the Economic Development – Policy Review Committee (PRC) on July 21; Quality of Life – PRC on July 22; an interactive town hall meeting on July 22; a City Council work session on July 26; and the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on July 27. The City also sponsored a survey to collect feedback from the public specific to cannabis regulation that closed on August 15.
On July 27, 2021, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the proposed code amendment request. The City Council will consider the commission’s recommendation and will decide if the requested zoning code amendments are appropriate. The Council may modify the recommendation or reject the recommendation.
Additionally, at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council will consider the adoption of a Resolution to name the stage at the south end of Plaza de Las Cruces the “Roberto Estrada Memorial Stage.” Roberto Estrada, who passed away August 18, was a local icon, philanthropist, Guinness World Record holder, and founder of Roberto’s Mexican Food Restaurant.
Estrada’s contributions to the community touched the lives of many southern New Mexico residents and his legacy will live on in Las Cruces. In 1980, he was approached by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce to contribute his cooking skills to an event then known as Vaquero Days. Later, the event would be renamed The Whole Enchilada Fiesta, and it became an ongoing annual event that put Las Cruces on the map.
The fiesta culminated with Estrada, his staff, and volunteers preparing a huge red enchilada. With only a couple of exceptions, Estrada made his signature enchilada every year from 1980 through 2014, when the festival ended.
His world-famous enchilada held the Guinness World Record from 2000 to 2010 for the world’s largest flat enchilada. Downtown Las Cruces would not be what it is today if not for citizens like Estrada, whose efforts continually spurred community pride in the hearts of so many he touched.
The agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting is available at: https://lascruces.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=219.
Tuesday’s meeting will be televised live on CLC-TV, Comcast Cable channel 20. The meeting also will be available online at clctv.com and at YouTube.com/clctv20.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, City Council will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall for a Closed Meeting. The Council will meet in closed session to discuss pending litigation.