NORTH REDINGTON BEACH – The four ordinances that passed unanimously during their first readings last month, passed again on their second and final readings during old business at the Dec. 14 meeting. This time, not all ordinances passed unanimously.

Commissioner Gary Curtis was absent from last month’s meeting, so when the second and final readings came about this month, he voted against the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, and abstained from voting on the prohibition of commercial lawn care equipment usage on Sundays.

During discussion of the ordinance prohibiting the medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within the town limits, Curtis tried to equate the dispensaries with pharmacies, said that “Sixty-nine percent of voters in North Redington Beach voted in support of Amendment 2,” and said that there was “hysteria associated with the word marijuana.”

Mayor Bill Queen reiterated the consensus of the board from the prior month’s discussion. The mayor said that it would be more prudent to wait and see what happens with those towns and cities that are allowing the dispensaries. “We can always pass this (allow the dispensaries) later but we cannot do the reverse,” said Queen.

Town attorney Jay Daigneault pointed out that the town was within its rights to prohibit dispensaries within the borders of the town, since the state bill included provisions for towns and cities to do just that. “Banning (medical marijuana dispensaries) is compatible with the town’s comprehensive plan,” added the mayor.

The Town Commission passed the ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within the town on its second and final reading. The vote was 4-1, with Curtis voting against the ordinance.

“I am going to vote on the side of compassion,” said Curtis.

The ordinance prohibiting the use of commercial lawn care maintenance equipment on Sundays passed on its second and final reading. Curtis recused himself from the vote because he has a commercial lawn mowing company that could potentially be impacted by the results of the vote. With Curtis abstaining, the ordinance passed 4-0.

Two other ordinances passed unanimously on their second and final readings. The first amended the procedures for the submittal and review of site plans, streamlining a stage of review from the town clerk directly to the building official. The second ordinance updated the tables to reflect anticipated capital improvement fund revenues over the upcoming five years.

During miscellaneous business Queen thanked Santa Claus for his great work at the Holiday Tree Lighting as well as the rest of the staff and volunteers who helped to make the event magical.

The mayor announced that beach renourishment was on schedule for the spring of 2018. Out of 110 beachfront properties in North Redington Beach, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received easement authorization to work on 90 of them. In the future, the easement authorization requirement is anticipated to inhibit the effectiveness of re-nourishment projects.

“We’re going to have a problem in seven years,” said Queen.