Pubdate: Tue, 10 Nov 2009
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Record Searchlight
Author: Scott Mobley
Cited: Redding City Council
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - United States)


City Planners to Recommend Cultivation Limits and Zoning Restrictions

The Redding Planning Commission will take a first stab at setting 
marijuana cultivation limits and zoning restrictions for medical 
marijuana collectives during a public hearing today.

City planners will recommend the commission limit outdoor marijuana 
gardens to 100 square feet for the six mature plants allowed under 
Prop. 215. The gardens would have to sit behind a self-closing gate 
in a 6-foot-tall, "non-climbable" fence, under the proposed zoning regulations.

Caregivers growing for more than one qualified medical marijuana 
patient may apply to the city for outdoor gardens up to 200 square 
feet, under the zoning city planners are proposing.

Planners also are urging the commission to adopt zoning that would 
forbid medical marijuana cultivation within 50 feet of a front 
property line, 25 feet of a side property line, 15 feet of a rear 
property line and within 40 feet of any neighboring home.

Jess Brewer, CEO of the Trusted Friends collective in Redding, said 
the proposed restrictions would effectively ban outdoor medical 
marijuana cultivation on the city's myriad smaller lots.

"What are you going to do with a lady who lives in the Garden Tract 
trying to grow one plant on her patio?" Brewer said. "She will not be 
in compliance."

Brewer said he did not have any problems with the fencing requirements.

The proposed regulations on outdoor cultivation are meant to be a 
starting point for discussion, planners said in their report to the commission.

Planners did not take a position on indoor cultivation in their 
report, but raised concerns about electrical fires and mold.

The commission's deliberations on marijuana cultivation come after 
the City Council last month imposed a 45-day moratorium on new 
medical marijuana collectives to allow officials time to develop 
regulations on dispensary operations and cultivation.

Redding hosts an estimated 20-plus medical marijuana collectives, 
with some observers putting the number as high as 40.

A council majority on Oct. 20 approved a set of regulations that 
would subject medical marijuana collectives and their records to 
police inspection.

The proposed regulations do not allow new collectives within 300 feet 
of a residential district and within 1,000 feet of a school, day care 
center, park or another collective.

Based on these restrictions, planners today will urge the commission 
to adopt zoning forbidding medical marijuana collectives in zoning 
districts for small office buildings and neighborhood shopping areas.

Redding's proposed medical marijuana regulations have divided the 
council, which deadlocked while attempting to approve them on a 
routine second reading during a special meeting Oct. 26.

Councilwoman Missy McArthur changed her initial yes vote to a no vote 
at that meeting, saying the new ordinance posed too many unanswered 
questions. Vice Mayor Patrick Jones has consistently voted against 
the new ordinance, saying it conflicts with federal law, which 
outlaws marijuana possession.

City Attorney Rick Duvernay has told the council that Redding and 
other cities may regulate medical marijuana under guidelines adopted 
by the state legislature in 2003.

The council is scheduled to take up the medical marijuana ordinance 
again Nov. 17, when Mayor Rick Bosetti is expected to be present to 
cast a tie-breaking vote.

Meanwhile, city planners will draw up more definite restrictions on 
marijuana cultivation and zoning limits on collectives for commission 
consideration Nov. 24. The commission is scheduled to vote on a final 
set of regulations Dec. 8, according to a report. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake