No Pot in Niwot responds to changed marijuana application
April 14, 2016
Following the recent changes to Colorado Real Estate Holdings’ (CREH) application for a proposed marijuana retail facility in Niwot, No Pot in Niwot submitted its response to Boulder County.
Last month, Ernie Craumer of Colorado Real Estate Holdings altered his application to be a marijuana retail facility and withdrew his request for a cultivation facility.
“CREH has listened to the community concerns of Niwot in making this decision,” Craumer said in his updated application. “The concerns expressed by the Niwot community were mostly with respect to the cultivation component within the original proposal.”
No Pot in Niwot stated in its response that the proposed pot retail facility is inconsistent with Boulder County Comprehensive Plan provisions for the Niwot CSA (Community Service Area). The organization stated, “Applicant has failed to meet the ‘clear need’ standard required by the Comprehensive Plan; nor could it be given the massive volume of public comments from Niwot residents explicitly rejecting both the retail and grow components and highly negative survey results submitted by the Niwot Community Association.”
The nonprofit organization did not agree with Craumer’s claims that Niwot residents’ concerns were related mainly to the cultivation part of the proposal. No Pot in Niwot stated that claim was false and community members had many other concerns in addition to the cultivation facility.
“This claim belies the record, as demonstrated by extensive public comments objecting to increased noise, parking congestion, incompatibility with adjacent residences, the presence of armed security personnel given the cash nature of the business and robberies at other Colorado retail locations,” the organization stated. “None of these concerns are resolved by the operation of solely a retail dispensary.”
Craumer also said in the revised application that they plan to use only the existing footprint of the building and aren’t requesting any additional space. It will include exterior updates to the building, which is stated in the applicant’s original proposal.
“This revision also eliminates the original request for an addition of 430 Sq. Ft. CHRE will use only the existing footprint of the building forgoing its additional development expansion rights as previously approved,” Craumer stated in the updated proposal. “Limited exterior façade improvements, proper signage, lighting, security, parking, and landscaping continue to be included as in our original proposal.”
Along with increased noise, parking congestion, presence of armed security and increased chance of robberies, No Pot in Niwot is displeased with the applicant’s hours of operation.
“The applicant’s amendment to extend retail hours to 10 p.m. completely ignores the effect of late evening noise and congestion impacts on residential neighbors…,” No Pot in Niwot explained. Furthermore, [the] applicant’s grab for later hours of operation confirms that [the] applicant’s true motive is to exploit a business opportunity; not to provide a needed service in the Niwot CSA or show concern for residential neighbors.”
The community organization is concerned about parking issues, even though the applicant stated they will promote alternative modes of transportation including bicycle parking and issuing eco passes.
“Given the limited free space for extra parking in and surrounding Cottonwood Park Square, as well as the proximity to adjacent residential neighborhoods, parking demands for this retail dispensary are not consistent with the Special Use standards,” the nonprofit said in its response.
Craumer ended his updated application by saying, “We look forward to a smooth, cooperative and fair process.” However, No Pot in Niwot isn’t pleased with the applicant’s proposal, “Withdrawal of the cultivation facility does not alter our position that the requested Special Use to allow a retail use on a lot designated for office use should be denied.”
The Boulder County Planning Commission will meet on Wed., April 20 to discuss the proposal. The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Boulder County Courthouse, and members of the public are welcome to attend. Public testimony will be taken, with speakers generally limited to three minutes.