A potential retail marijuana shop at 36th Street and Main Avenue has neighbors in a fighting mood.
Rocky Mountain High Recreational Center received its permit from the Planning Department Wednesday, but it still must receive a city license through the Local Licensing Authority to open.
Many neighbors are concerned about the additional traffic that a retail store will bring to 36th Street, which is largely residential. The corner of 36th Street and Main Avenue is on a blind curve, and it would pose a safety hazard to customers and residents, the neighbors argued in their petition.
“Even if it was a McDonald’s, it would be the same problem,” said Elizabeth Salkind, a neighbor.
Six comments were received within the official comment period that ended Oct. 31. But since then, about 15 other neighbors have sent the city a range of comments about the shop’s impact on parking and safety. Others raised concerns about the shop’s proximity to Pioneer Park and children in the neighborhood.
“We don’t need the traffic, we don’t need the danger it poses and you wouldn’t want it for your 5-year-old either,” wrote Danna Manganaro in her letter to the city.
The six comments filed in time for city consideration raised legitimate concerns about parking, access and the neighborhood’s character, a memo to the city manager said. However, there was nothing to justify a denial, the memo said.
The city is legally required to inform only residents living within 300 feet of a new recreational pot shop. More than 30 property owners received a personalized mailer letting them know that the former office building could be converted into a marijuana shop. A notice was also staked in the yard, said Greg Hoch, director of planning and community development.
Salkind, who lives within 300 feet of the shop, was particularly concerned because she did not receive a postcard about the shop. Her address is not available to the general public on the La Plata County Assessor’s website because her husband is a law-enforcement officer, she said.
As a result, Hoch said his office did not have any information about her property.
“We had to follow our law to the T, and we did,” he said. He also pointed out a sign had been staked in the building’s yard to inform the public.
However, Salkind argued that the planning department was not thorough in informing neighbors.
She said the neighborhoods are still considering what their next steps would be now that the shop’s permit has been approved.
A phone call to Rocky Mountain High Recreation Center was not returned as of Thursday evening.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of comments filed within the official comment period. An incorrect number was in a version of the memo. The number of property owners who received a mailer also has been corrected. Finally, a prior version incorrectly characterized the neighborhood. The retail store may be moving to a street that is largely residential.