Wendy Leung, Ventura County Star | Published 8:53 a.m. PT Oct. 23, 2019
The city of Oxnard will have eight marijuana dispensaries with possible locations in freeway adjacent retail zones and downtown if the City Council agrees with a committee recommendation.
On Tuesday, the housing and economic committee decided to recommend a retail marijuana ordinance that would allow eight dispensaries in areas that are at least 600 feet away from schools and parks.
The committee did not go with what a Planning Commission majority wanted — another 600-feet buffer from residential neighborhoods, which would have limited the number of parcels available for interested dispensaries.
The committee, which consists of Mayor Tim Flynn and council members Oscar Madrigal and Vianey Lopez, asked staff members to research the implications of establishing a 600-feet buffer for churches in addition to schools. Madrigal wanted to know what it would be like if the buffer for schools and parks were reduced to 500 feet.
While the state standard is a 600-foot buffer between dispensaries and sensitive uses like schools, parks and youth centers, cities can set a smaller or larger buffer zone.
Madrigal said although it’s a good point to consider churches as sensitive uses, placing too many zoning restrictions could make it impossible for dispensaries.
“If we did that, we would really be cutting this map up leaving next to nothing,” Madrigal said about extending the buffer zone to churches. “The smaller the map gets, the harder it is for someone to purchase it. We might take people out of the business all together.”