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Lubbock City Council Approves Synthetic Weed Ban Expansion, Postpones Love’s Travel Stop Vote

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council beefed up their ban on synthetic marijuana within the City of Lubbock.

The original ordinance, which went into effect on February 14th, 2013, prohibits the sale, public display for sale, gift, delivery, possession, or use of the illicit synthetic or misbranded drugs.

Since the chemical compositions of these synthetic drugs for sale change to get around existing ordinances, the Council approved the ordinance which adds a number of the new chemical structures to the City’s ban list.

The first reading of the ordinance passed 5-1, with Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson voting against the measure. District Two Councilman Floyd Price was absent. Robertson has said in the past that he favors a ban on selling the substances to minors.

The Council also approved a lease agreement with Boomer Development for a hotel at Lubbock’s Preston Smith International Airport.

Andy Hutchison of Boomer Development requested to lease 2.5 acres of land on the west side of the airport to construct and operate a franchised hotel. The land is adjacent to I-27 near the entrance to the Silent Wings Museum.

The franchiser of the hotel will be Cobblestone Hotels and Suites, and the hotel is expected to be a three-story facility with 80 to 90 rooms, a workout room, and multiple meeting rooms. They expect the facility to be completed in spring of 2015.

The lease has a 30-year term with a 10-year extension option. For the first 10 years, the group will pay $25,000 per year, and the lease payment will increase by $5,000 annually every ten years.

All six members of the Council in attendance voted to approve the measure.

A number of items were also postponed either at the request of someone involved with the items up for consideration by the Council or due to the absence of council members. Price was absent, and District 5 Councilwoman Karen Gibson had to leave the meeting early.

One item that was postponed was final approval of a zone change request by Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores, who wants to construct one of their stores off of I-27 and Regis Street. Love’s has requested a zone change from R-1 residential to Interstate Highway Industrial to allow their store to be built.

At the last meeting, the Council told Rick Shuffield, director of real estate and development for Love’s Travel Stop, that they should discuss the potential location with nearby residents and businesses, following some outcry against the truck stop location by a few area residents.

Love’s Travel Stop requested the item be postponed to allow them more time to discuss issues with area residents.

The Council also postponed voting on a resolution offered by District Three Councilman Todd Klein, which would establish a citizens task force to study payday lending, which would make recommendations to State of Texas officials on predatory lending in the State.

The Council also approved the issuance of $83 million in general obligation refunding bonds for the City of Lubbock, the waterworks system, and electric light and power system revenue bonds for Lubbock Power and Light.

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