City of Columbia, Missouri  
Meeting Minutes  
Planning and Zoning Commission  
Conference Rooms  
Thursday, May 18, 2023  
5:30 PM  
Work Session  
Columbia City Hall  
701 E. Broadway  
7 -  
Sara Loe, Anthony Stanton, Michael MacMann, Valerie Carroll, Sharon Geuea  
Jones, Robbin Kimbell and Peggy Placier  
2 - Tootie Burns and Shannon Wilson  
Meeting agenda adopted unanimously  
Move to adopt agenda as presented  
A. May 4, 2023 Work Session  
May 4, 2023 work session adopted unanimously  
Adopt May 4 work session minutes as presented  
B. May 4, 2023 Regular Meeting  
May 4, 2023 regular meeting minutes adopted unanimously  
Adopt May 4 regular meeting minutes as presented  
A. UDC Text Amendment -Marijuana Micro-Businesses  
Mr. Zenner introduced the topic and with the assistance of Mrs. Thompson  
explained the reason for the urgency to make the amendments to the UDC. It was  
discussed that the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) had chosen to  
accelerate the release and acceptance date for applications relating to marijuana  
microbusiness licenses for dispensaries and wholesale (cultivation and  
manufacturing) facilities. Forms for applications were to be released on June 6 and  
acceptance of applications for the first of three-rounds of license issuance were  
scheduled to begin on July 27. Issuance of licenses for the first round of  
applications would be no later than October 4. The remaining two rounds of  
licensure would occur on June 30, 2024 and again on April 4, 2025. Once all rounds  
of licensure are completed it was noted that 6 microbusiness dispensary and 12  
wholesale facility licenses would be issued - 2 dispensaries and 4 wholesale  
facilities per round.  
There was general discussion on the limited nature of the microbusiness facilities  
provisions within the Article XIV of the State Constitution as well as discussion  
relating to the need to have the amendments incorporated into the UDC such that  
under-represented business owners could have equal access to the industry. There  
was also discussion on the potential for the total number of facilities to be  
expanded given the fact that the City of Columbia now lies within two (2)  
Congressional Districts. Mrs. Thompson; however, noted that Article XIV clearly  
states that licenses will be based on the Congressional Districts that existed as of  
December 6, 2018. Given there has been no supplemental information provided by  
DHSS and to her inquiries regarding how this matter is intended to be resolved, the  
proposed amendments are based on the single Congressional District which would  
result in a total of 18 facilities being permitted within the area.  
There was additional discussion on the licensure limitations that current exist  
within the “use-specific standards” as well as the distance and spacing  
requirements. Mr. Zenner noted that the proposed amendments did not include  
microbusiness dispensaries within the licensure limitation clause and that distance  
and spacing standards would be the same for all microbusiness facilities as they are  
for current “medical” and “comprehensive” facilities. There was discussion on the  
potential for creating a new application procedure that would establish a different  
set of spacing limits for the new facility types. However, after internal staff  
discussion, it was concluded that the current application and evaluation criteria  
found within the existing use-specific standards are sufficient.  
Staff noted that a public hearing on the amendments, which are essentially the  
same as those made for “comprehensive” facilities, has been advertised for the  
Commission’s June 8 Regular meeting. Mr. Zenner explained that this schedule was  
necessary to ensure that adequate time existed for staff to generate possible  
zoning verification letters that may be required to accompany facility applications  
to DHSS. He noted that any delay in processing the amendments would result in  
them becoming effective after DHSS opens the application acceptance period given  
that the Council’s July 3 meeting has been cancelled. Based on the June 8 Planning  
Commission public hearing, the item would be introduced to Council on June 20  
and final read on July 17.  
The amendments will include new definitions for the microbusiness facilities,  
updates to the Permitted Use Table to allow microbusiness facilities where their  
equivalent medical and comprehensive facilities are allowed, and updates to the  
use specific standards such that they are applicable to all types of marijuana  
facilities capable of being licensed within the State.  
Commissioners asked if the text proposed to be incorporated into the UDC could be  
modified. There was concern with a reference contained within the definitions.  
After discussing the proposed change, Mrs. Thompson and other Commissioners  
agreed that since the amendment was copying directly what was defined within  
Article XIV that no change to that text could be made. Mrs. Thompson and the  
Commissioners agreed the language was not nearly as “tight” as what was desired,  
but they were not asked to prepare it.  
Finally, the Commission discussed two additional topics associated with marijuana  
in general. The first dealt with marijuana transport services and the second dealt  
with “smoking” lounges. Mr. Zenner responded to the issue of transport services  
indicating that the State has a licensure process, but the UDC does not contain  
specific regulations pertaining to where these types of businesses are allowed to  
operate out of. He noted that the staff views these businesses similar to “taxi”  
services and allows them in the M-C and IG zoning districts.  
Mr. Zenner further noted that there has been discussion to define the use within  
the UDC, but time has not permitted for such a definition to be created. Presently  
staff is operating under a “Director Interpretation”, as allowed by the UDC, on  
where the use is allowed based on its similarity to other uses defined within the  
Code. Commissioner’s suggested that it would be best to define the use to get in  
front of particular issues that may arise as the microbusiness’ are coming on-line.  
Several Commissioners commented that given the limited level of State regulation  
on the transport industry it may see significant increases in its activity levels.  
Relating to the issue of “smoking” lounges, Mr. Zenner noted that there was  
nothing specific in the UDC about this activity; however, he was aware of the  
potential for this use to become more prevalent within the City now that  
recreational marijuana usage is legally allowed. Present State regulations do not  
permit public smoking of marijuana; however, a “private club” may be a safe haven  
for such an activity. There was discussion that the City’s Smoking Ordinance may  
have an impact on where it could occur. Mr. Zenner and Mrs. Thompson suggested  
that staff could do further investigation of how these types of establishments were  
permitted in other communities and come back with a future text change.  
Commissioners were receptive to this idea expressing a desire to “get ahead” of a  
possible issue before it became an issue.  
Having addressed all relevant question relating to the proposed text change and  
associated issues, staff noted that this matter would be on the June 8 Commission  
agenda for public hearing. Mr. Zenner noted that due to his absence Mrs.  
Thompson would be delivering the staff report that evening.  
B. Voting and Requests for Council "Old Business"  
Mr. Zenner introduced the topic and explained observations the he and others  
were having related to the Commission’s voting practices. Mr. Zenner stated that  
this topic was intended to be a “refresher” of the procedures relating to  
Commission actions, specifically with respect to how a matter can be placed on the  
Council’s “Old Business” agenda. He noted that “perception is often reality” and  
based on recent comments from individuals appearing before the Commission  
there was concern the Commission’s actions were not being as “objective” as  
possible with some votes being cast to ensure an item ends up on the Council’s  
“Old Business” agenda.  
Mr. Zenner explained that there is a defined process in the UDC for when an item is  
to be placed on the consent agenda. Generally, this occurs when more than 75% of  
the Commissioners present vote to approve an item. He noted that there are  
several different types of vote combinations that will result in less than 75% of the  
Commission voting in favor of an item and often the one that is most confusing is  
when only 8 Commissioners are present. In such an instance a vote of 6-2 is exactly  
75% voting to approve a project and as such the item would normally go to the  
Council’s “Old Business” agenda since it is not “greater” than 75%.  
Mr. Zenner noted that while staff often gets the placement correct they are not  
perfect and sometimes a matter will not be property flagged. He further noted that  
within the defined provisions, the Commission can always request that a matter be  
specifically placed on the “Old Business” agenda regardless of its vote. The best  
practice to ensure that such action is taken by the staff, and ultimately the City  
Manager, is to make a second motion relating to the item’s placement on the future  
Council agenda before moving to the next business item. The Commission has  
historically been consistent in taking this step; however, recent actions of the  
Commission are causing this practice to come under additional scrutiny.  
There was general discussion on this practice and it was urged by several  
Commissioners that each member vote “their conscience” and that the practice  
described by Mr. Zenner be implemented. Mrs. Thompson noted that the general  
City Code also provides opportunity for “any member of the public” to request that  
an item be removed from the Council’s “Consent” agenda and placed under its “Old  
Business” agenda items. While the best practice would be to do as Mr. Zenner  
described it was not essential. Mr. Zenner noted if the request to remove an item  
from “Consent” to “Old Business” was not contained within the Commission’s  
action such a request would need to be made to the City Clerk to ensure it was  
Mr. Zenner further explained that the “Consent” agenda voting procedure being  
discussed is only applicable to items that were before the Commission for public  
hearings. For matter relating to subdivision actions, typically considered a  
ministerial activity, a formal request for their placement on the “Old Business”  
agenda would be necessary unless such request were made directly to the City  
Clerk following the Commission’s action.  
Mr. Zenner noted the purpose of this item was to ensure the integrity of the  
Commission’s actions were protected and they retained respect as a deliberative  
body. He thanked the Commissioners for their attention. There was additional  
discussion on the matter of voting and it was suggested by the Chair that a simple  
change in how the Commission moved from business item to business item could  
be made. She offered to add at the end of the vote count and total announcement  
a phrase similar to “are there any other motions the Commission would like to  
make?”. She noted that this would be a prompt for any Commissioner desiring to  
make a motion to request an item be moved to “Old Business”. Commissioners  
agreed this change was appropriate and acknowledged that the prompt may not  
always be needed.  
There was limited additional discussion on other procedural matters relating to the  
Commission’s meetings - specifically addressing the need to read the “Disclosure”  
statement at the beginning of each case. Following Commissioner discussion and  
advice by staff it was concluded that this matter would be retained as a part of the  
meeting procedures.  
VII. NEXT MEETING DATE - June 22, 2023 @ 5:30 pm (tentative)  
Meeting adjourned at approximately 7:15 pm  
Move to adjourn