ATL- HIGHLANDS - Public hearings on the cannabis business question for the borough and two other proposed ordinances are on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the governing body, with council aimed to take action on the cannabis bill before a state deadline next week.
With the Planning Board informing the governing body after its meeting last week that banning all cannabis businesses within the borough is not against the borough’s Master Plan, it is also anticipated the borough will pass the ordinance, barring any new information or ideas presented during the public hearing.
An ordinance to eliminate the requirement for the borough administrator, who serves as the pleasure of the Mayor and Council, is also on the agenda for a public hearing. If approved, the ordinance would be in effect for hiring a borough administrator this year to follow the retiring long time administrator, Adam Hubeny.
A third public hearing is scheduled for an ordinance which would permit small wireless facilities to be installed along rights of way to meet increasing needs and desires of wireless customers.
Banning all cannabis within the borough does not mean future action could not be taken to allow certain businesses, setting specific places, time frames and other restrictions, council members have pointed out. Council members have made it clear the ordinance can be amended in the future but is designed now to protect the borough from actions taken without full knowledge of all the laws involved.
Action to prevent cannabis businesses of any kind prior to a state-mandated August deadline ensures the borough will not be bound by state regulations not yet released or known. Without passage of this ordinance, the borough would be required to act positively on any request for cannabis businesses from growth and distribution to wholesale and retail businesses for five years without knowing the specific regulations under which the businesses would be governed.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Borough Hall.