Mike Harris – Published 3:02 am PT November 27, 2020 – Ventura County Star
The Ventura City Council this week delayed introducing an ordinance to allow commercial cannabis businesses in town due to concerns about the proximity of such establishments to residences, libraries, parks with playgrounds and Ventura College.
The council also delayed adopting a resolution that would have established the maximum number of cannabis businesses in the city – two retail dispensaries and five industrial such as manufacturing, testing labs and distribution.
The resolution also would have established 1,000-foot buffer zones from the businesses to so-called “sensitive uses” – schools and daycare and youth centers.
City staff recommended the council take both actions at its meeting Monday night.
But the council took neither because it wants another 1,000-foot buffer zone, this one from the businesses to parks with playgrounds. The council also wants to make it clear that the 1,000-foot buffer zone from the businesses to schools includes Ventura College.
The council also expressed “a strong preference” that dispensaries not to be within 300 feet of a residential area including single-family and multi-family residences.
“I would be in favor of a residential buffer … for residents that are looking at safety and quality of life and property values,” said Councilwoman Christy Weir.
The council indicated another “strong preference” too – that there be a 1,000-foot buffer from any cannabis business to the city’s three libraries: Avenue Library, E.P. Foster Library, and Hill Road Library.
In October, the council endorsed parameters in which retail cannabis businesses can apply to operate in retail zones and industrial cannabis businesses can apply to operate in industrial zones.
On a 6-1 vote, the council Monday night directed staff to develop an interactive map with the additional buffers so that the council, staff and the public will be able to see exactly where in the city the cannabis businesses can be located…