OXFORD — The Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed Thursday to appoint a committee to develop an ordinance prohibiting recreational marijuana retail establishments and social clubs.

The committee voted 4-0 to approve a committee made up of nine or 10 people, including residents, representatives of the Police Department, Economic Development Committee and Board of Selectmen, the town manager and code enforcement officer.

Town Manager Butch Asselin said the first step will be to impose a six-month moratorium on such establishments while the work to develop and write the ordinance continues.

The board was asked at its meeting Sept. 21 by Rosemary Nicklaus of Oxford to consider such an ordinance. 

The town currently has a medical marijuana ordinance on the books that was updated in January 2016, with changes approved by voters that April.

The changes restricted the number of medical marijuana grow permits to three, but did not address the growth or sale of recreational marijuana. The update was required when a committee determined the town’s medical marijuana ordinance did not comply with state law.

Two of the three available medical marijuana grow permits have been issued.

The third permit was initially granted this year to Brent Stevenson, owner of property at 517 Main St. But on Oct. 3, the Appeals Board voted 3-1 that the Planning Board was incorrect in issuing the third permit to Stevenson Enterprises.

The Appeals Board believed the Planning Board did not have the authority to grant the permit under the town’s ordinance because the permit did not meet the required 250-foot setback from the nearest private residence.

They also voted 4-0 to remand back to the Planning Board a fourth application the Planning Board received. The Planning Board denied an application by HBC LLC on Aug. 10 because it was believed all three permits had been issued.

Selectman Pete Laverdiere, Gerald Nicklaus, Rosemary Nicklaus and Connie Staples have all volunteered to be members of the ad hoc ordinance review committee for the recreational marijuana moratorium.

Asselin said if the committee needs more than six months to write the ordinance, the moratorium can be extended.

In other business, selectmen:

• Agreed to continue investigating what to do with the Welchville Dam that Myron Petrovsky of MBP Consulting in Portland told them in May was in “imminent danger” of collapsing. Local property owner Chris Glass said many families would be affected if the structure collapsed and offered to serve on a committee to determine the outcome of the dam. Meanwhile, selectmen said they would close the gates on the dam;   

 • Accepted a bid of $39,560 from Williams Construction and Roofing for the Public Safety building roof replacement;

• Approved a special amusement permit application by Apple American Group, doing business as Applebee’s. Laverdiere said the intent is to offer customers some form of entertainment on the weekends;

• Heard from Asselin about the need to update the town’s Capital Improvement Plan that will look at the town’s buildings, equipment and other assets and establish goals for the future. The plan would be an aid in the annual budgeting process, he said.

[email protected]

Chris Glass asked the Board of Selectmen at its Oct. 5 meeting to appoint a committee to look into the necessary repairs at the Welchville Dam.

Comments are not available on this story.