Public comment meeting on Winter Park dispensary

At their Tuesday, August 9 meeting, the BOCC held a public hearing regarding the proposed marijuana dispensary in Winter Park. Serene Wellness, who operates dispensaries in Fraser and Empire and seeks a third location, submitted the application for the dispensary. The proposal is facing strong opposition from residents, second-home owners, and business owners in the Winter Park area. There were about 40 people in attendance at the meeting.

The dispensary would be in the same building as the Valley Hi Motel. According to the objection letter, due to a surveying error, the motel was omitted from the Winter Park official boundaries when the town was incorporated in 1978. The property was originally to have been included, and has functioned as part of the town using services such as construction and maintenance of parking, landscaping, sidewalks, the Fraser River Trail and snow removal.

The town would experience “all the costs and none of the benefits,” the letter states. Winter Park, according to the letter of objection, would not receive any revenue from the business, but would still have to provide law enforcement in the areas surrounding the dispensary.

The proximity of the proposed dispensary to Hideaway Park and the Fraser River Trail is about one block from the park, and the town feels this is much too close. The marijuana operation would degrade the experience of those coming to visit, according to the town.

There is petition on the website titled “No Main Street Winter Park Dispensary” that had 40 signatures at press time.

This story has been updated to reflect that no decision was reached and the BOCC will continue the discussion at their next meeting on Tuesday, August 16 at 1:30 p.m.

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