By Don Nelson
The Winthrop Town Council will hold a public hearing next Wednesday (Sept. 16) on a request by Austin Lott, owner of the Fresh Greens retail marijuana store in the Horizon Flats area, to amend the conditional use permit which allowed his business to open last year.
In his application to the town, Lott said he would like to amend the permit to allow the business to be open on Sundays. He also asked that he be able to keep the store open until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and until 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Under the conditional use permit issued in 2014, Fresh Greens can be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
In a memo to the council, Town Planner Rocklynn Culp said that “other than an early concern regarding the required entrance and exit signs, I have heard no complaints or comments regarding Fresh Greens. The business appears to be operating without any notable impacts, and within the limits of the existing permit.”
Culp said that Fresh Greens being open on Sunday “may increase traffic on an otherwise quiet day for Horizon Flats residents.” But she said it is difficult to predict what the overall impact of granting Lott’s request might be.
If the council turns down Lott’s request, the conditions of the original conditional use permit will remain in place, Culp said.
Fresh Greens required a conditional use permit to operate in Horizon Flats because the area is zoned industrial. The original permit was issued after much council discussion, and some objections by Horizon Flats residents. The store opened in July 2014.
In his original application, Lott had asked for longer hours of operation and the option to be open on Sundays.
A public hearing on Lott’s request had been scheduled for Aug. 19, the day the Twisp River Fire started. Winthrop was evacuated that day and the council meeting was cancelled. That necessitated rescheduling the hearing with adequate public notice. The Sept. 16 meeting begins at 7 p.m.; the hearing is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.