Riverside OKs 1-year permit ban, includes recreational marijuana

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

A 12-month suspension on issuing permits for specific land uses — including recreational marijuana — has been approved by Riverside.

The city council Thursday night voted for the moratorium, which freezes certificates and all approvals for allowed or conditional land uses and development, the legislation states.

The moratorium does not include any residential uses, Riverside City Manager Josh Rauch said.

It “discusses several commercial and industrial uses that the city will be evaluating closely as we rewrite our zoning code,” Rauch said in an email. “It also includes uses for which state regulations are still being developed, such as recreational marijuana.”

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Ohio. But until rules and regulations are put in place — and licenses are issued — locals can’t buy it. The law allows adults 21 and older to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, as well as using it and growing up to six plants per person and 12 per household. It also imposes a 10% sales tax.

Moratoriums also have passed in Beavercreek, Carlisle, Centerville, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Kettering, Miamisburg, Monroe, Springboro, Vandalia, Waynesville, Xenia, and several other cities throughout Ohio.

In Riverside, about 17 permits were approved during 2021-22 in the categories the moratorium specifies, according to Lori Minnich, economic development specialist.

The goal is to allow staff time to prepare, research and develop proper regulations and reforms, Riverside records show.

The city will look to hire an organization “capable of implementing essential code updates and improvements” to align with the city’s new comprehensive land use plan, Rauch and Minnich said in a memo.

The city intends to seek proposals for a zoning code rewrite in the first quarter of next year, Rauch said.

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