Thursday, March 27, 2014

UPDATE: City appealing Studio A64 decision to Council

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM

click to enlarge Screen_shot_2014-03-19_at_1.54.55_PM.png

Update: KC Stark says in an email that, citing a "very long" agenda, City Council will request at its April 8 meeting to have the Studio A64 hearing moved to April 22.

———Original post: Wednesday, March 19, 2:14 p.m. ———

We've been bringing you the continuing saga of KC Stark's Studio A64, a downtown cannabis social club and gathering spot for marijuana advocates, since the beginning, when Stark's landlord first received the notice to close due to alleged zoning violations.

Then, Stark appealed the decision to the Planning Commission, which eventually ruled in his favor 7 to 2.

Now, the city of Colorado Springs, via its planning department, is appealing that decision to City Council, which will take up the issue at its April 8 meeting. (It will still be on the March 25 agenda, says planning and development director Peter Wysocki, but Stark had asked for it be postponed, a request Council must grant.)

"To justify its decision to grant Studio A64's appeal, the City Planning Commission erroneously compared Studio A64 to a 'Social Club' under the umbrella definition of a '[Membership] Club' ..." reads a formal notice of appeal dated March 3. "Furthermore, by using this comparison of Studio A64 to a Social Club as justification for its ruling that the administrative action being appealed was in error, the Planning Commission exceeded it authority and effectively substituted its judgement for a judgment the Planning and Development Director would be required to make under the Zoning Code ..."

Furthermore: "The City Planning Commission's decision to grant the appeal and allow consumption of marijuana without any standards is clearly against the expressed intent of the Zoning Code, which currently establishes additional standards for medical marijuana facilities, liquor sales, and bars in Section 7.3.205 of the Zoning Code."

In response, Stark has organized a "RALLY TO SAVE STUDIO A64" and plans to organize a march of supporters to City Hall. 

"We need your voice and presence! We won the appeal with ease and City Hall is still coming after us saying we are in violation of code," reads the event notice. "Your voice is important, this is your chance to exercise your rights, use your voice, and make a difference. Please help us save this special place which is a treasure to so many of us."

Asked how many times the city has appealed the commission's decision like this during his time as director, Wysocki says in an email: "This is the first one."

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