Planning Commission to Approve up to Four Conditional Use Permits for Cannabis Retail Business

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The second of a two-part meeting with take next Wednesday as the Planning Commission is set to approve up to four Conditional Use Permits, from the applications identified in the staff report, to allow cannabis retail business at the proposed locations.

In September the council adopted an ordinance to allow cannabis retail businesses, including cannabis dispensaries and mobile delivery services, to operate in the city subject to approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).

There was an open period for applications for cannabis dispensaries, and at that time 13 CUP applications were submitted.  By ordinance, “no more than four (4) cannabis retailers shall be allowed for an eighteen month period, thereafter City Council may, in its sole discretion, determine that additional use permit applications may be accepted for cannabis retailers to establish in the City.”

The ordinance contains some limitations prohibiting the issuance of CUPs in residential districts including one-family, one- and two-family, mobile home, and multi-family residential districts – as well as Planned Development districts with residential uses of a similar nature.  There is also a 600-foot radius buffering dispensaries from uses such as schools, day cares, and places where children congregate, per state law.

As staff notes, a CUP is required for retail cannabis businesses in Davis.

Staff writes: “The CUP process affords broad public review and evaluation of those uses which require special consideration to ensure proper integration into the community and mitigation of any potentially adverse impacts, and making the required findings to permit the use.”

In considering an application for a conditional use, “due regard shall be given to the nature and condition of the proposed or existing use and all adjacent uses and structures and may impose such requirements and conditions with respect to location, construction, maintenance and operation, as may be deemed necessary for the protection of adjacent properties and the public interest.”

Staff has evaluated each application and taken into account land use factors, applicant presentations and public testimony.

Based on the preliminary review, from the 13 applications submitted, “staff has grouped applications based upon those which are viewed most favorable to least favorable.”  They  write, “This has been a challenging process that staff has not taken lightly, recognizing that each applicant has invested time, money, and effort in the process.”

Here are the tiers.

Staff notes: “The River City Phoenix Davis application is included in the Tier 2 site at this time as they have responded to concerns that staff and the Planning Commission raised about parking and bicycle circulation concerns at their site. The applicant submitted parking analysis and concepts that reconfigure the street parking layout and include a protected cycle track.  Staff is currently reviewing the concepts and finds Concept #2 to be intriguing. Staff will be making a final determination on whether the concepts would be favorable for cycling circulation and parking in the area prior to the council hearing.”

Staff notes that several of the dispensary applications are located in the downtown core area.  They found that the applications in the transition area, on the edge of downtown, “caused the most friction with adjacent neighbors and/or presented staff with concern in regards to compatibility with adjacent uses.”

Staff recommends “the Planning Commission provide thoughts related to locating any dispensaries in the downtown area. Staff would also appreciate the Planning Commission to discuss the merits of the two different locations that are included in the Tier 2 group.”

All Good Wellness – 325 G Street

“This location is designated as Retail with Offices in the Core Area Specific Plan. It is located on a block that has mix of restaurant, banking, retail hardware, and offices along with private parking lots and the G Street public parking lot. The location is in the Core Commercial area of the Core Area Specific Plan which allows for retail use but is not located in the more intensive Retail Stores designated area of the Core Area Specific Plan.”

Good People Farms – 514 3rd Street

“This location is designated as Retail Stores in the Core Area Specific Plan. It is also located on the Third Street Special Character Area which serves as the principal bike and pedestrian connection to the University. This location is located on a block that is within the City’s designated Retail Stores zone which is intended to promote a pedestrian shopping experience. It has multiple parking areas within walking distance. The block contains retail, banking, cafes and is located in the core of the core.

Staff notes: “While the locations are both located in the Core Commercial area of downtown, All Good Wellness offers some parking, is across the street from a public parking lot and is on a generally lower intensity retail/pedestrian activity area. The Good People Farms 3rd Street location does not have parking, consistent with other nearby uses and is located in a higher intensity retail area on the principal east/west bicycle/pedestrian linkage for downtown.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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