Marijuana retail shops will soon open in Oxnard but the question is where.
The City Council will give that some thought on Tuesday during the penultimate meeting of the year.
A total of eight cannabis retailers will be allowed as part of a “go slow” policy approach to relaxing an earlier ban of such businesses. They will likely go into commercial plazas and strip malls across the city, including areas of downtown.
The issue of retail location has been winding through the municipal approval process. A Planning Commission majority didn’t want the retailers too close to residential neighborhoods. A housing and economic development committee wanted to consider not allowing them too close to churches.
Council will make the final decision on what buffer zones should be created to prevent marijuana retailers from being established near so-called sensitive uses. A sensitive use can be schools and parks.
Staff members are recommending a 600-feet buffer zone from schools, youth centers, day-care centers and parks. They are not recommending residential neighborhoods or religious institutions be considered a sensitive use.
Under staff recommendation, there would be 940 parcels available citywide to be used as marijuana dispensaries.
Increasing the distance of the buffer zone or including more places in the list of sensitive uses would mean fewer available parcels. If churches were also considered a sensitive use, 767 parcels would be available to be used as a marijuana retailer.
The meeting begins 5:30 p.m. with a presentation by Southern California Edison on planned power outages.
Also on the agenda is another consideration of a short-term rental ordinance. The regulations on Airbnb and other vacation rentals were already approved by council last month but the item returns with answers to some lingering questions.
Council unanimously approved restrictions on short-term rentals, limiting the number of days in a year they can operate and requiring a city-issued permit that comes with a transient occupancy tax. At the time, council members had some questions regarding whether to allow rentals at the condominium complex Harbour Island and time shares.
For the Tuesday meeting, staff members are recommending short-term rentals not be allowed at Harbour Island and The Colony, two condominium complexes near the coast, but allow them for timeshares.
Wendy Leung is a staff writer for the Ventura County Star. Reach her at email@example.com or 805-437-0339. You can also find her on Twitter @Leung__Wendy.
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