Marijuana business ban: Officials to present stance county wide after Tahoe vote | SierraSun.com

Marijuana business ban: Officials to present stance county wide after Tahoe vote

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Officials are launching a public outreach campaign over the next month to explain a recommendation to ban medicinal marijuana establishments in all of unincorporated Placer County, just days after a Lake Tahoe advisory council voted not to support it.

Last Thursday, the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council unanimously denounced the county planning commission’s recommendation to ban all marijuana dispensaries, collectives and collaboratives by amending zoning ordinances, citing insufficient research and a lack of due process.

Zachary Hymanason, NTRAC Chair, described the proposal as both unconvincing and improperly processed because the planning commission’s Jan. 28 vote, 5-1 in favor, was made before the county’s municipal advisory councils could review it. According to previous reports, the issue came forward because of increasing requests for marijuana business licenses with the Placer County planning department.

and#8220;This really wasn’t done according to the process, and when we’re going to take on issues that have county wide significance, there is a process, and we’re going to use it,and#8221; Hymanason said.

Jennifer Dzakowic, the senior planner who spoke for Placer County at last Thursday’s meeting in Tahoe City, said Tuesday the planning commission was in its legal right to vote on the proposal without sending it to the councils for review.

and#8220;If you look under the municipal advisory council handbook, planning amendments don’t go to the (advisory councils),and#8221; she said.

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A request from Lolly Kupec, a NTRAC board member, was the only reason the North Tahoe council was able to review the proposal last Thursday. Since then, Dzakowic said almost all other county advisory councils and#8212; there are 14 total and#8212; have requested to review the proposal so they can send their own recommendations to the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

Dzakowic said because of the requests, she will be give presentations to the 13 remaining advisory councils over the next month, explaining the planning department’s stance.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the issue at its April 6 meeting in Auburn.

Dzakowic said it has two options: To accept the proposal and ban medicinal marijuana businesses in Placer County; or direct the planning department and planning commission to develop zoning ordinances that would designate and control marijuana businesses.

and#8220;Whatever my (municipal advisory councils) recommend to me, that’s how I will base my decision,and#8221; said Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. She said her vote will be reflective of the community she represents and will expect the planning commission to back up its argument with strong evidence and research.