Alamosa may see another pot question


ALAMOSA — Alamosa may face another marijuana ballot question, this time in a special election this year.

Alamosa City Clerk Holly Martinez told the Alamosa city council on Wednesday that she had received a petition on February 28 seeking a change in the ordinance passed by city council last summer.

The council had approved an ordinance in June 2017 limiting the number of marijuana plants to 12 per residence/household for personal recreational use and 24 for medical marijuana use. The ordinance also set parameters regarding those permitted uses. In addition, the ordinance allowed residents to grow marijuana outdoors, which is the provision targeted in the petition.

A group of Alamosa residents wish to prohibit outdoor marijuana growing and have presented a petition to that effect to the city.

Martinez said she had 10 days, until March 12, to verify the signatures on the petition and if they are insufficient the petitioners have 18 days to cure the problems.

Martinez said if the petitions are sufficient, the council will have the option of amending the city ordinance as requested in the petition or setting the matter for a special election, which would have to be held by July 11.

City Manager Heather Brooks added that the financial burden for the special election would solely be on the city, since it would be a special election for city purposes only.

Although possibly not a ballot question, another petition will likely be turned in to the city requesting a change in the hours of the Rickey Recycling Center, Alamosa business owner Ruthie Brown told the council on Wednesday night. She said she is collecting signatures at her business, Green Spot, to seek expanded hours at the recycling center. She has already collected about 85 signatures she said, and wondered how many it would take to sway the council’s opinion.

She said she would like to see the recycling center open on Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays until 6 p.m.

She said she did not know how much it would cost to expand the recycling center’s hours on weekends but if it was $15,000 a year, that seemed like “small potatoes” compared to the city’s recent $3 million expenditure for the ice rink/multipurpose center.

The recycling center is closed on Sundays during the winter but as of March 11 will resume Sunday hours of 12-4 p.m., with Saturday hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekday hours Monday through Friday of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.