Navajo Community Planners, Inc., on September 9 voted 9-7 to recommend that the City of San Diego approve a conditional use permit for applicants Ron Miller and Nick Hosig to operate Grantville Greens, a 623-square-foot medical marijuana dispensary on the 4400 block of Glacier Avenue. The vote included recommendations such as hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., an armed guard on site, and a restriction against selling hash oil and wax (concentrated cannabis).
Hosig and Miller initially presented their plan to Navajo Planners on April 21, 2014, and at several subsequent Navajo planning-group meetings.
The medical marijuana ordinance approved by the San Diego City Council in February 2014 bans dispensaries within 1000 feet of parks, schools, and residences. The city’s Development Services Department recommended denial of Grantville Greens' application because of its proximity to Mission Valley Riparian Dedicated Parkland.
An aerial map shows the riparian habitat behind the Black Angus Steakhouse at 103270 Friars Road. The map with arrows pointing to the habitat and the Living Green cooperative proposed on the 4400 block of Rainier Avenue were in a June 17 planning commission report. The subject was the appeal of the denial of Living Green’s application.
Grantville Greens is one block away, and Miller said the city based its 1000-foot measurement on that of a staffer who “took pen to paper. We used a surveyor.”
Grantville Greens' appeal to the planning commission will be held in October, Miller said.
Some planners were concerned that young people would obtain products purchased by Grantville Greens clients. Hosig and Miller spoke about their appointment policy and point-of-sale tracking system. Ramon Baguio, their consultant, spoke of the location as another deterrent. "It's probably the unsexiest place," he said.
Planner John LaRaia referred to the Navajo Community Plan amendment. It affects Grantville, which is north of Interstate 8 at the Fairmount Avenue exit. On June 9, the San Diego City Council approved the Grantville Focused Plan amendment that includes land on both sides of Fairmount and Mission Gorge Road, along with Friars Road from Fairmount to the four corners of Zion Avenue and Mission Gorge Road. Modifications included changing industrial zoning to mixed commercial-residential use. LaRaia said if a five-year conditional permit was approved, it would be "a one-shot deal."
Hosig and Miller said they understood the permit wouldn't be renewed.
John Pilch, San Carlos Area Council president, gave the planning group a copy of a September 9 email about the recommended denial from Edith Gutierrez, the city’s development services project manager. He also referred to ten conditions that applicants must meet.
Planning-group chair Matt Adams asked applicants to address some conditions. Baguio said, “These are conditions if it gets approved”; conditions include “don’t have a vending machine.”
Pilch also referred to a September 9 San Diego CityBeat column that quoted Cary Weaver of Living Green about challenges like defining habitat as a public park.
One other member of the public spoke. Tammy McCraw said the applicants were “incredibly humble about their intentions. My mom is 73 and alive because of them.”
She said her mother was a client when the pair previously operated a collective. McCraw also addressed a proposal to ban edible products and planners’ concerns that products purchased by clients would end up in the hands of students in high school or younger.
“My mom can’t smoke,” said McCraw, because cancer damaged the roof of her mouth. “They’re only selling to cancer patients and those with medical needs. I was a teenager once and got alcohol from my parents.”
McCraw said parents need to lock up alcohol and other products. “It’s not fair to put this” responsibility on Hosig and Miller.
During the planning group’s roll-call vote, some members explained their “no” votes. Adams referred to the development services denial. LaRaia referred to the zoning change.
The application process for dispensary permits includes a planning-group hearing.