City Council Meeting
HERALD STAFF REPORTS
All ten voting members of the Sapulpa City Council were present for proceedings Monday August 17, 2020, this being the first public meeting since several employees at City Hall have undergone quarantine due to the COVID. The meeting of August 3rd was halted due to at least one city hall worker testing positive for the Sars-2 Coronavirus.
One quiet measure undertaken to combat the covid plague, was the surreptitious install in the front west corner in city hall, of a whole room body temperature scanning device, jury rigged to a small square sign attached to a post chest/shoulder height.
City Administrator Joan Riley and Vice Administrator Steve Hardt participated in the meeting via Zoom teleconferencing, as did SCC trustees Vickie Beyer and Marty Cummins. Present in person to vote were Sapulpa Mayor Craig Henderson, Vice Mayor Carla Gunn and councilpersons John Suggs, J. Brian Stephens, Bruce Bledsoe, Hugo Naifeh, Joseph Hale and Louis Martin Jr. Sapulpa Boy Scout Troop 224 led the Pledge of Allegiance to our U.S. flag. Troop 224 has continually served the community based out of the First Presbyterian Church 98 years and counting. Pastor Scott Gordon provided the invocation.
During the (pre-meeting) study session City Attorney David Widdoes, reminded that the decades old 1/2 cent sales tax is sunsetting in 2021 and he urged action to call for an election to determine the continuance of the tax. Widdoes stated that no later than December the city should notify the county election board as to intent to call a sales tax election in March of 2021.
Three new police officers were sworn in for duty with Sapulpa City Police. Judge Laura Farris led the trio in their peace officer duty oath. Officers Josh Moreno, Hayden Vernon and Randal Arnold Jr., each pledge to serve the citizenry honorably at the price of their own lives if need be.
The new cannabis economy has and is cause for the review by council of business people already licensed by the state to produce or sell marijuana related medical products, but now seeking SUP’s (special use permits) to open farming, processing or retail sales.
A local company The Legal Plug 918, sought an SUP to establish a cannabis processing facility at 505 West Johnson Avenue.
City planning office stated that this was a primarily residential area and that the 2030 Comprehensive Plan’s future land use map, designated this area as solely residential despite the existence of several commercial ventures that have done business or are presently conducting business.
Legal Advisor Widdoes commented, “the comprehensive plan has been violated many many times. Perhaps (council) should consider amending it to reflect reality?”
Councilman John Suggs directly asked Nikki Howard of the planning office if Sapulpa’s Master Plan had “inconsistencies” in other areas? Howard answered “yes” and provided an estimate of around six areas in which the comprehensive plan has not been followed.
Suggs then made a motion to table Legal Plug 918s SUP application. Seven ‘no’ voters shot down Suggs motion.
A compromise was reached when legal counsel suggested to approve the SUP as asked, but tie this in with a city council directive to review (potentially) change the comprehensive plan where it concerns mixing commercial properties in residential zoning. The board voted 7 in favor of granting the SUP and to review the future land use mapping.