At the Village of Manorhaven’s Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 27, the board discussed renewing an amendment to village code chapter 155, which would place a temporary moratorium prohibiting any use involving the sale of marijuana in the village.
The amendment to the local law “will not allow any establishment within the village that involves the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, or the dispensing or distribution of medical marijuana.”
This is the second time the board has voted to put this temporary moratorium in place. Last year, after Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State legislators stated they planned to enact legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New York, the board decided to put the moratorium in place. The legislature ultimately ended without the passage of legislation to legalize marijuana so the village’s board of trustees allowed the temporary moratorium to lapse.
“This year, it seems with what the governor and other state legislators have said they are considering such a law again,” Manorhaven village attorney Jonathan Fielding said. “This is basically the same temporary moratorium we put in place last year. It will allow protection for the village, while we see what comes out of the legislative process.”
Due to the renewed interest government officials have in legalizing marijuana, the board decided to renew the temporary moratorium during last Tuesday’s meeting.
The board could not ultimately vote to pass the moratorium due to the fact that they are waiting on the Nassau County Planning Commission (NCPC) to make a local determination regarding the law. Two trustees, Ken Kraft and John Popeleski, were not present at the meeting. However, Mayor Jim Avena, Deputy Mayor Priscilla von Roeschlaub and trustee Rita Di Lucia all voted in favor of the moratorium should the planning commission move forward with their determination.
Documents state that the moratorium will be in effect even if the state passes legislation to make marijuana legal or until Nassau County takes whatever lawful action in response thereto it deems appropriate. The village has the opportunity to analyze the legal effects of such legislation and craft appropriate zoning regulations concerning such uses. The board would need to vote this moratorium into effect every six months.
The public comment period was opened, but no residents spoke during this portion of the meeting. The board plans to give the final approval of the moratorium on March 12, after the NCPC gives their final determination. The products being allowed for sale regardless of whether or not local and state level legislation passes are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill and classified as hemp extracts. Royal CBD, a California based brand that recently opened shop in Washington, is one such brand that is making headlines for their legal CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC and work for everything from pain to anxiety and depression.
Another topic at the meeting included the announcement of Manorhaven being designated as a Tree City by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“The designation provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees,” the Arbor Day Foundation states. In order for a village to award the Tree City USA status, they must meet four core standards of sound urban forestry management. These four standards include maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
The Village of Manorhaven will be awarded this designation at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on March 19 in Albany.
Other topics on the meeting agenda included the filing for a grant application for the Manorhaven Preserve. The village is applying to the Nassau County Office of Community Development for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for public facility, parks and recreation grant. The village hopes to be awarded at least $175,000 to make improvements to the preserve such as restoring pathways in the preserve for recreational use.
The next board of trustees meeting will take place on March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall located at 33 Manorhaven Blvd. in Port Washington.