Pubdate: Fri, 25 Jun 2010
Source: Adobe Press, The (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Lee Central Coast Newspapers
Note: By Adobe Staff


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will decide later this
summer whether a medical marijuana dispensary in Nipomo gets to open
its doors.

Last month, the county Planning Commission voted 3-2 to deny a
minor-use permit for the dispensary proposed by Robert Brody of Los
Angeles and Tom Meredith of Long Beach. Brody filed an appeal of the
split decision earlier this month, which is expected to be heard by
the supervisors in August or September, according to the Planning and
Building Department.

County ordinance allows establishment of dispensaries in
unincorporated areas such as Nipomo but specifies the facilities must
be located 1,000 feet away from public schools, playgrounds, parks,
youth or recreation centers and libraries.

The proposed dispensary on Lindon Lane is more than 1,000 feet from
Nipomo High School, but a private gymnastics studio - Paradise
Gymnastics Studio - is located within 94 feet of the building where
Brody wants to open the facility.

The commission denied the permit, in part, because of the dispensary's
proximity to the gymnastics facility, which the majority of the
commission believed fell within the parameters of a public
youth-serving center.

Brody disagrees.

"The intent of establishing location standards was to provide
separation for where children congregate ... public schools,
libraries, parks, playgrounds, recreation or youth center, not a
business center that caters to children," Brody wrote. "This
broadbrush approach was not the intent."

County project planner Bill Robeson said the ordinance's distance
requirement is intended to protect children and that planning staff
was being conservative when it applied the requirement to the private
gymnastics studio.

Planning staff had recommended denying the permit because of the short
distance between the studio and dispensary.

The dispensary also was met with overwhelming opposition from the
community, whose members believe such a facility would become a magnet
for criminal activity.

The appeal asserts that there is "no substantiated proof" that opening
and operating a dispensary in the community would be detrimental to
the health, safety or welfare of the general public, including children.

"The medical marijuana dispensary across the street in a different
industrial park will have no impact on the gymnastics studio," Brody
wrote. "I am sure county planners did their due diligence when
assigning this location as acceptable." 
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