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Paradise Town Council Chambers 5555 Skyway, Paradise, CA M I N U T E S CALL TO ORDER The meeting was called to order by Chairman Johns at 6:04 p.m. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ROLL CALL Present at roll call were Commissioners Bolin, Grossberger, Jones, Woodhouse and Chairman Johns. Community Development Director Baker, Town Manager Rough and Town Attorney Moore were also present. 1. PUBLIC HEARING a. Consider adopting a resolution recommending Town Council adoption of a proposed ordinance relating to restricting medical marijuana cultivation, processing, and distribution. The proposed ordinance provides, among other things, as follows: 1. Qualified patients or primary caregivers would be allowed to cultivate no more than 50 square feet of medical marijuana within a residential zoning district, in a rear or side yard with certain setbacks from adjacent properties. 2. Indoor cultivation by qualified patients or primary caregivers in a residential zoning district would be allowed only with a permit issued by the Planning Director based on specific criteria. 3. All marijuana cultivated on residential property would be for the personal use of the qualified patient residing on the property. 4. Cooperative/collective medical marijuana cultivation, processing and distribution facilities would be allowed only in the Industrial Services (IS) Zoning District with a permit issued by the Planning Director based on specific criteria and operating standards relating to such facilities. The hours of operation would be limited to 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. The permit would be renewed annually and nontransferable. 5. The permit for a cooperative/collective would be subject to revocation after a hearing before the Planning Director, which could be appealed to the Town Manager. Pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3), the proposed ordinance is exempt from environmental review because there is no possibility that its adoption will have a significant effect on the environment. Community Development Director Baker informed the Commissioners that the Draft Medical Marijuana Ordinance was provided to the public and the Planning Commissioners on May 19th,
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2011 and that the purpose of the meeting tonight was to solicit public testimony regarding the ordinance, close the public hearing, allow the commissioners to discuss the issue and consider adopting the proposed Resolution to forward the proposed ordinance to the Town Council for consideration. The Town Council is the only decision making body for the Town that can adopt an ordinance, but the Planning Commission may give further direction to staff, to continue the public hearing to a date specific and bring the ordinance back with recommended changes. Town Manager Rough stated that the Town Council recently adopted an Interim Urgency ordinance placing a moratorium on medical marijuana cultivation, processing and distribution, that the Ordinance is still in effect and that he formed a study group to evaluate what other communities, especially those in our own county, had already done, or were contemplating. The Town also previously held a public workshop to provide an opportunity for public input and that individuals expressed a range of varying perspectives on the subject. Manager Rough stated that the result of the study group’s effort is the draft ordinance that was submitted to the planning commission and distributed publicly 14 days prior to the special meeting. The draft was made available well in advance to allow both planning commissioners and the general public adequate time to review the document. If the document is adopted in its current form the following will be accomplished: 1. 2. The Town presently does not allow medical marijuana dispensaries as a permitted use and the draft ordinance still does not allow them anywhere in the community. The draft ordinance addresses concerns of residents about the proliferation of medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives, restricts them to the Town’s industrial services zone and places both the establishment and operations under certain regulations and requirements. The draft ordinance prohibits indoor or outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana on commercial properties or in commercial buildings in our community. The draft ordinance restricts individual outdoor or indoor medical marijuana cultivation to the actual residence of the actual qualified patient or their primary caregiver. A rented or leased property would require written permission from the actual property owner. The draft ordinance places certain restrictions on individual outdoor cultivation (i.e. setback, size, height, fencing, etc.) that should help to reduce the amount of odorrelated problems in our neighborhoods. The draft ordinance requires an indoor cultivation permit for those qualified patients or primary caregivers who seek to cultivate medical marijuana indoors. There are a number of requirements that have to be met to have the permit application approved and granted. The draft ordinance will provide the planning, building, code enforcement and police departments with more effective regulatory and enforcement tools even though this issue of medical marijuana cultivation and the complaints, and related criminal activity has already consumed considerable Town resource.
5. 6. 7.
Chairman Johns opened the public hearing at 6:16 p.m.
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1. Jon Remalia, 8150 Skyway, states that he sent an email to the Planning Commission and learned that not all of them received the letter and read his letter out loud expressing his concerns with the proposed ordinance. He stated that the ordinance is too long, too complicated and does not address the issues raised at the forum which was to be the guide to the study group in drafting the ordinance. He stated that all marijuana has an odor and there is no way to control the odor; that the ordinance promotes outdoor grows as opposed to indoor grows; stated that the Town owns a majority of the land in the industrial zone leaving no land for development; there is no money for the extra code enforcement or police protection that the ordinance will create; questioned the method in which the ordinance was drafted; and, requested that the ordinance be rejected and direct staff to consider the ordinance currently enacted in Biggs that does not allow outdoor cultivation. 2. Kevin Gorman, 6148 Clark Road, Executive Director for NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) in Butte County, believes the proposed ordinance is not in compliance with SB 420 or Prop 215, it’s too complicated, people cannot read or understand it, suggested that the ordinance be rewritten. 3. Paul McCarthy, Paradise, does not agree with square footage, does not think it is fair, that it discriminates against the poor, that two (2) people should be allowed at least six (6) plants each, because they are not always successful since they are not professional growers. The amount of plants allowed should be reviewed 4. Earl Persons, 5360 Sawmill Road, stated that he does not have adequate medical care, uses prescription to cover pain, grows marijuana in the summer to provide plants for all year and since he eats it instead of smoking it he consumes more, does not know if he will be able to grow enough in the proposed 50 sq. ft. area or if six (6) plants will be enough. He lives on a dead end street, does not have any problems with the neighbors, isn’t aware of any new problems that medical marijuana is causing and only harvests for personal use. 5. Bob Cornell, 6148 Bowles Blvd, was under the impression that the ordinance had already been passed and that no more grows would be allowed and thinks that growing inside would have less odor to affect the neighbors and would reduce crime, and that they should all be allowed to grow in one area. 6. Bill Mannel, Indian Rock Lane-Paradise, is concerned about the impacts marijuana growing will have on adjoining properties, is concerned about greenhouse grows as they could be located closer to adjoining residences that the 75’ setback , and that he thinks retail businesses other than marijuana collectives, would be a better choice for the Industrial zone, and asked if the nuisance factor in the ordinance applies to residential grows. Chairman Johns closed the public hearing at 6:34 p.m. Planning Commissioners asked for the background and rationale on how the study group came up with the 75’ setback, the 50 sq. ft. growing area, and how collections will be enforced with the proposed ordinance. Staff explained that they looked at the average size of residential property in the community, looked at current separation distances for animals and determined setbacks based on that
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information, since there is little other information for reference. Chico’s ordinance allows for a 50 square feet growing area and the desire was to be comparable/similar to neighboring communities and to strike a balance between the needs of individuals growing and the affect on the neighbors. If there are any unpaid fines for violations they are placed on the tax bill and collected through the Town’s administrative citation process. Manager Rough stated that state law does not prohibit either indoor or outdoor growing areas and that the ordinance passed by the City of Biggs is not applicable to our situation. Planning Commissioners expressed concern with indoor grows, the problems that are created with a lack of ventilation, concealed conditions and the fact that it may not be energy efficient to grow plants inside and also with greenhouses, the 5’ setback, indoor/outdoor grow and the proximity to the property line. Attorney Moore stated that the ordinance could be limited to the inside the residence, that all indoor growing would have to be inside the residence. The proposed ordinance says the residence or other building. A greenhouse could be considered another building. Dwight suggested , “or other building” be deleted since a greenhouse is another building. There was concern with the a daycare center or school being established after a medical marijuana permit had already been issued as the permit would be grandfathered in and may remain valid even though the said facilities may be located within the 1,000 ft perimeter and the facility would have a vested right to remain at that site. Chairman Johns, with the approval of the committee, reopened the public hearing at 6:49. 1. Jon Remalia stated he thinks that a permitted shed should be allowed, disagrees with allowing greenhouses because you cannot control the smell, thinks that a 1,500 sq ft grow would have an impact on CEQA, that high nitrogen fertilizer going into the septic system would be a problem. 2. Paul McCarthy stated that he does not agree with 50 sq. ft requirement as he needs to be able to grow for himself and girlfriend at least 12 plants which can’t be grown in that small space, he can’t afford to purchase marijuana, asked if the plants had to be within the 50 sq ft space or if the plants could grow over the space and requested the committee reconsider the square footage and make it larger. 3. Earl Persons said he has few neighbors, doesn’t have any problem with neighbors, wants to grow his six (6) plants and would like to have a larger space than the proposed 50 sq. ft. Can’t afford to grow plants indoor and only needs 3 months to grow his medicine. Town Manager Rough addressed police enforcement issues stating that the problems associated with marijuana are already here, the first notable change was the home invasion and homicide in 2008 that is still unsolved; home invasions, some reported, some not because of scare tactics; and, two motorcycle gangs are trying to establish themselves in the community using marijuana and home invasions as a way to finance activities. This is a serious problem with people taking advantage of trying to profit commercially, personally and criminally using the ruse of medical marijuana. The ordinance is a land use ordinance that gives the police and code enforcement officer the tools to deal with land use complaints from citizens, where they do not currently have the ability to deal with many of the current issues.
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Proposition 215 does not limit the amount of plants that may be grown, but to whatever amount a person needs thereby narrowing the ability to control the number of plants; and, that cities can control impact on neighborhoods with setbacks and controlling the size of the growing area. Commissioners discussed the potential nuisance from outdoor grows and how complaints regarding odor would be addressed. Attorney Moore referred to section 17.31.400-D which states: D. Notwithstanding the cultivation which is otherwise in compliance with the standards set forth in paragraph A. above, a permit issued pursuant to Paragraph B. above, the cultivation of medical marijuana shall not be permitted if, based on substantial evidence, the director determines that the cultivation activity adversely affects the health or safety of any person, including children, residing at the property or nearby properties through the creation of mold, mildew, dust, glare, heat, noise, odor, or other impacts. Staff responded that odors are subjective, but there could be a provision inserted in the ordinance in which two (2) or more neighbors in a neighborhood filed complaints that would then allow the Town to require a grow to go indoors, if it is a perceived, prominent problem in the neighborhood, but the ordinance still needs to maintain an indoor/outdoor provision for individual growers. This ordinance could also provide guidance regarding health and safety issues. Commissioners were concerned with the potential loss of setbacks and control if a grow were required to move indoors. Commissioners suggested that if a grower is renting that the tenant has to have the landlords permission to grow at the property. Commissioners and staff discussed the difference between profit versus non-profit, and staff explained that a collective would operate like any other non-profit entity, they can pay their own salary, but are still considered non-profit. The Town would have the ability to review the books to make sure the cooperative was in compliance. Commissioners asked about the 50 square foot fencing requirements as staff explained that there is no requirement for the fence to be immediately adjacent to the grow, that the grow just needs to be behind a 6 foot fence so that it is not visible, and the plants have to be screened and out of public view. Commissioners asked how discretion would be enforced or if it could be. Staff responded that people have the freedom of speech and there is no way to control or prohibit what growers say. Commissioners asked if after the ordinance was passed if there would be more, or less, growing going on than there is now. Staff responded that the kind of collective/collaborative activities going on right now may be eliminated from neighborhoods because right now vacant properties are being used for collectives/collaborative and restricting the activity to the industrial zone will also provide a method to eliminate what is currently happening in neighborhoods. The Planning Commissioners directed staff to look at the potential elimination of “other building” from the document, research energy efficient growing operations possibly with a wattage limit to include fans, filtration, drying, etc., lower energy costs to ensure sustainable indoor grows, permit or other means to inspect indoor grows to make sure they meet building code requirements, (Mr. Baker suggested: Right to inspect with reasonable notice) if there is a yearly inspection prior to
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issuance of the annual permit there needs to be acceptable criteria (what do they grow in, lighting, energy efficiency, fans, etc.) in conjunction with the building dept., the permit could be conditioned to allow inspection with reasonable notice. There was consensus with the Planning Commissioners to delete “other building”. Commissioners asked if “other building” was taken out, would a property with a greenhouse that met setbacks for outdoor grow be precluded. Staff discussed if a greenhouse had the equivalent space of an outdoor growing area then it would be acceptable as long as it is screened. Mr. Baker suggested wording: “Cultivation within accessory structures shall meet setback requirements for outdoor cultivation. There was consensus to add that there would need to be at least two or more complaints based on substantial evidence before action can be taken. This would be comparable to what is currently used on barking dogs, there needs to be more than one complaint. Code enforcement , and the police department would be the regulating departments. Chairman Johns closed the public hearing at 7:25 p.m. There will be no additional testimony tonight or at a future meeting of the Planning Commission unless a majority of Planning Commissioners determine that it is necessary. Planning Commissioners moved to reconvene the meeting on Thursday, July 7, 2011. It was moved by Commissioner Grossberger, seconded by Commissioner Woodhouse, and unanimously carried by those present to approve the continuation of the Special June 2, 2011 Planning Commission Meeting to the date of Thursday, July 7th, at 6:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers, 5555 Skyway, Paradise, CA. VOTE: AYES: Commissioners Bolin, Grossberger, Jones, Woodhouse and Chairman Johns. NOES: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: None. MOTION CARRIES. 2. ADJOURNMENT The Planning Commission meeting was adjourned at 7:28 pm. _____________________________ Chairman
Attest: ___________________________ Planning Commission Secretary
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TOWN OF PARADISE PLANNING COMMISSION RESOLUTION NO. 11-04 A RESOLUTION OF THE PARADISE PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDING TOWN COUNCIL ADOPTION OF A ZONING ORDINANCE RELATING TO RESTRICTING MEDICAL MARIJUANA CULTIVATION, PROCESSING AND DISTRIBUTION WHEREAS, on January 11, 2011, the Town Council of the Town of Paradise adopted Ordinance No. 509 enacting a moratorium on the establishment and operation of medical marijuana distribution facilities and collectives within the Town; and WHEREAS, on February 8, 2011, the Town Council adopted Ordinance No. 514 extending the moratorium; and WHEREAS, the Town Manager’s Study Group has reviewed Proposition No. 215, California statutes and local government ordinances relating to the cultivation, possession and use of medical marijuana; and WHEREAS, as a result, the Town Manager’s Study Group has prepared a draft proposed ordinance regulating the cultivation, processing and distribution of medical marijuana within the Town of Paradise; and WHEREAS, on May 24, 2011, notice was provided that the Planning Commission would be holding a public hearing regarding the draft proposed ordinance; and WHEREAS, on June 2, 2011, at 6:00 pm., the Planning Commission held a public hearing and received testimony concerning the draft proposed ordinance. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3), the draft proposed ordinance is exempt from environmental review because there is no possibility that its adoption will have a significant effect on the environment. SECTION 2. After considering the entire record, including all the oral testimony, written reports, and draft ordinance relating to medical marijuana within the Town, the Planning Commission does hereby recommend that the Town Council consider adopting the attached ordinance. 1
PLANNING COMMISSION RESOLUTION NO. 11-04 PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Planning Commission of the Town of Paradise this 7th day of July, 2011, by the following vote:
AYES: NOES: ABSENT: NOT VOTING:
ATTEST: ______________________________ Assistant Town Clerk
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