On April 28, 2009, the City Council of the City of Grass Valley adopted Ordinance No.
700 as an urgency ordinance imposing a forty-five
day moratorium on theestablishment and operation of medical marijuana collectives, cooperatives and
dispensaries (hereinafter collectively referred to as "dispensaries"). The urgency
ordinance temporarily prohibited the establishment of medical marijuana dispensariesuntil a detailed study of the possible adverse effects of such establishments, and proper
zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries could be determined.
On June 12, 2009, the City Council extended the moratorium for a period of up to ten
(10) months and fifteen
days, unless otherwise extended as permitted by law. At the
same time, the Council directed City staff to return with an ordinance regulating the
establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. On February 23, 2010,
the City Council further extended the moratorium for one year, as allowed by law, in
order to provide City staff time to continue studying the proper zoning for establishments,
complete a review and analysis of potential medical marijuana regulations in light of
recent and pending court decisions, and await the outcome of Proposition 19 on the
November 2010, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The
City’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries will expire on February 23, 2011.
On November 26, 2010, the City Council requested the Planning Commission to provide
its recommendation on whether to regulate or prohibit marijuana dispensaries.
On December 21, 2010, the Planning Commission conducted a duly noticed public
hearing, and considered whether to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries or whether to
allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the Light Industrial (M-1) and HeavyCommercial (C-3) zoning districts. By a vote of 4-0, the Planning Commission
recommended that the City Council approve an ordinance adding Section 17.20.035 to
the Grass Valley Municipal Code prohibiting the establishment and operation of medical
marijuana dispensaries in the City.
CURRENT CITY REGULATIONS
The City’s Municipal Code and the Zoning Ordinance do not address medical marijuana
dispensaries. The City’s Zoning Code specifies that all uses listed as allowed are
expressly prohibited within the City; however, for purpose of clarity, Staff recommends
the City adopt an ordinance specifically addressing this use.
Pursuant to the Council’s direction, City staff commenced a study of the current
Municipal Code and Development Code provisions. Staff considered how to best
regulate facilities dispensing medical marijuana, whether the current Code provisions are
adequate to meet the need of the City and evaluated possible amendments to the City’s
Development Code related to such uses.