Live: Onsite marijuana consumption moves on to the Assembly, summer plans for Eaglecrest to be discussed

Live updates from the Committee of the Whole meeting

7:40 p.m.

When a property owner hits the complaint limit in the proposed ordinance, they would receive a written warning, Weske said.

If they then racked up another complaint, they would receive a notice of chronic nuisance and given 30 days to take appropriate corrective action.

The owner would have the abilit to appeal the chronic nuisance detirmination. A notice of appeal would need to be filed in 20 days, and the appeal would be heard by the city manager or designee within 15 days. A determination in writing would need to be issued within 15 days after the hearing.

7:30 p.m.

Juneau Police Department Lt. Jeremy Weske is giving a presentation about a potential chronic nuisance ordinance.

It can be found online here.

The ordinance would allow JPD to fine property owners who receive an excessive number of complaints. The ordinance proposed the standards of seven complains in a year-long period for a residential property and 15 for a commercial property.

Complaints that would be qualitfying under the oridinace which uses the probable cause standard include, nuisance, litter, burn, tobacco and some criminal complaints.

False information, false alarm, child abuse, sexual assault, medical emergency and retail theft would not be qualify.

7:20 p.m.

After talking with the city attorney, I have a better handle on what onsite consumption would mean for the city’s tobacco ordinance.

As it stands, there would be no direct impact, but if the city doesn’t preemptively alter it’s tobacco ordinances someone could attempt to sue the city since tobacco smoking is not allowed in doors.

Palmer said a court could then either find the city is right and marijuana smoking and tobacco smoking should be regulated differently or else find that the city should allow onsite consumption of tobacco should be allowed and regulated in the same ways as tobacco.

Some possible ways the tobacco way could be changed relatively easily is either to match state statute which already allows for onsite marijuana consumption or allow or tobacco consumption clubs to exist.

The latter option was not popular with members of the committee when it came up during discussion.

7:15 p.m.

Bryson moved to refer the ordinance that would allow onsite consumption to the Assembly.

It drew nearly simultaneous objections from Becker and Jones, but did not result in more discussion.

Bryson, Triem, Edwardson, Hale, Hughes-Skandijs and Gladziszewski voted to do so. Becker and Jones voted against it.

7:10 p.m.

Assembly member Loren Jones said he would be opposed to changing the city’s tobacco ordinance.

“We don’t have a large enough population for us to have a standalone tobacco shop where people can go and try tobacco,” Jones said.

He said pursuing onsite smoking is likely more trouble than it’s worth.

“Allowing edibles, that’s fine,” Jones said.

He said if no one files with the Marijuana Control Board to take advantage of onsite consumption of edibles, then that’s a business decision.

7 p.m.

Allowing onsite consumption of marijuana would likely allow for onsite tobacco smoking at private clubs rather than “nuking” the city’s tobacco smoking ordinances, Gladziszewski said.

Assembly member Mary Becker said she does not feel inclined to help people consume marijuana and is not convinced marijuana tourism is a substantial draw to Juneau.

Edwardson said if allowing onsite consumption does not destroy the city’s smoking ordinance and doesn’t harm others, then onsite consumption should be allowed.

“We’re here talking about something that’s not harmful or if it is there are more harmful things that are available right now,” Edwardson said. “If this isn’t harmful then people should have a right to do it. We should be removing hurdles, not putting hurdles in front of them.”

6:55 p.m.

City Attorney Robert Palmer said there are essentially four options to consider: Allow onsite edibles, allow onsite smoking, allow both or do nothing, which would allow for neither.

Assembly member Carole Triem is leading off questions and comments about the potential ordinance. Triem would like to see the Assembly separate the edible and smoking discussion.

“I think the smoking question is very difficult and complicated,” Triem said.

Bryson said after talking with retailers, not a single one is interested in creating a special space for onsite consumption of edibles.

He said he is for onsite consumption specifically keen on allowing onsite smoking of marijuana in the interest of giving people a place to smoke marijuana legally to keep them from publicly smoking illegally.

“If you hate marijuana smoke, you should be in favor of onsite consumption in private rooms,” Bryson said.

6:45 p.m.

The ordinance will come back up at the July 8 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Now, the committee is turning its attention to onsite consumption of marijuana.

6:35 p.m.

Hale recommended an ordinance be prepared with a tight focus on senior assisted-living.

“I think there will be many temptations along the way to broaden this,” Hale said. “Any specific language that’s too specific now could be modified later.”

Assembly member Rob Edwardson said it’s important to keep in mind that this is the first time the Assembly will be approving some sort of tax incentive for development, so keeping a big picture and precedent in mind is important, too.

6:30 p.m.

A discussion of an ordinance for tax abatement for senior housing development has fallen deep into a rabbit hole analyzing the potential ordinance rather than discussion of the merits of a tax incentive for such developments.

6:15 p.m.

While it hasn’t been discussed, the Willoughby name comes from Willoughby Avenue, which was named for Richard Willoughby, who made money selling fraudulent postcards that supposedly depicted a distant Russian village dubbed “Silent City.”

Willoughby claimed to have photographed the reflection of the city during a visit to Muir Glacier at Glacier Bay and sold postcards of the image. The photo actually depicted a city in England.

610: p.m.

Deputy City Manager Mila Cosgrove and Deputy Mayor Maria Maria Gladziszewski are filling in for City Manager Rorie Watt and Mayor Beth Weldon respectively.

Cosgrove acknowledged this resolution is in part the result of a letter from Aak’w Kwaan spokesperson Fran Houston.

Fran Houston is the daughter of Auk’w Kwaan tribal leader Rosa Miller. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
                                Fran Houston is the daughter of Auk’w Kwaan tribal leader Rosa Miller and has spoke in favor of renaming the Willoughby District. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Fran Houston is the daughter of Auk’w Kwaan tribal leader Rosa Miller. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File) Fran Houston is the daughter of Auk’w Kwaan tribal leader Rosa Miller and has spoke in favor of renaming the Willoughby District. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Assembly member Mary Becker asked if the Willoughby District was named for a person, and if that might mean it would be appropriate to hold some sort of public hearing for the resolution.

Assembly member Michelle Bonnet Hale said Willoughby Avenue would still be called Willoughby Avenue, the resolution would just be adopting an official, appropriate name.

Assembly member Loren Jones asked if there was any sort of formal boundaries for the district.

Hale and others said that would be a good idea.

Assembly member Alicia Hughes-Skandijs said she fully supports the resolution and hopes to see it move forward quickly.

6 p.m.

City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole has a lot on its plate tonight.

On the agenda are: a resolution renaming the Willoughby District the Aak’w Village District, a senior housing tax abatement ordinance, onsite consumption of marijuana, a chronic nuisance property ordinance, and an adventure center concept for Eaglecrest.

A few of these are concepts that have been kicking around for a while.

[Read our coverage of a new name for the Willoughby District here.]

[Find out what local sellers think of onsite consumption here]


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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