From: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: City of Needles (information and agenda package):

Downtown Needles, California: Members of the Needles Planning Commission approved conditional use permits for a retail cannabis store despite local residents’ anger over the downtown location.

ZachNews broadcast live (Go to 3:38 for Item # 6 of the New Business Agenda):

The decision of the members of the Needle Planning Commission was made during the postponed regular meeting of the Needle Planning Commission on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, which you can follow at ZachNews on Facebook.

Documents from the City of Needles indicate that the applicant has applied for a conditional license to use a cannabis retail store with a total area of ​​1,824 m². Ft. – 1,194 sqm Ft. Tenant improvements to an existing building. – 630 sqm Ft. Garage for safe storage.

The project is located on two 0.016 acre merged lots and is located within the General Commercial (GC) land use designation and within the General Commercial Zone (C-2).

The project will employ 4 people (2 FT and 2 PT) and work from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 7 days a week. There are enough parking spaces on the premises with 10 parking spaces.

The location is also 50 meters from a Needles Area Transit (NAT) bus stop.

The additional requirements include that the applicant must use asphalt or concrete for driveways and parking areas in accordance with City Standards, the applicant must record a property merge combining the two 0.16 acre parcels before receiving a retail store occupancy certificate , and the applicant required an installation of landscaping, a new driveway, sidewalk, curb and gutter on Front Street.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission were advised to pass Resolution No. 10-20-2021 PC recommending approval for a conditional use permit for a cannabis retail business in the C-2 (General Commercial) Zone, 1312 Broadway Street, too known as APN 0185-157-02-0000 and 1315 Front St., also known as 0185-157-12-0000.

*** Agenda Package for New Business Agenda Item # 6 (Unless otherwise noted, all downloadable agenda packages posted here are in a PDF file format, so please make sure you have a PDF Have a reader or viewer): ***

power point PC 1312 Broadway Finale

Prior to the discussions, Patrick Martinez, Director of Development Services for City of Needles, presented the PowerPoint presentation to members of the Needles Planning Commission.

During the discussions, members of the Needles Planning Commission spoke about the access to the cannabis retail store, as well as the type of landscape that will be planted on the property and what color the building will be when the building is in use.

Needles Planning Officer Kevin Ostby asked for a private driveway on the east side of the property from the main driveway on the west side, especially for the turning circle of delivery vehicles and trucks using a private driveway.

Alberto Paiva, Building Clerk and City Engineer for City of Needles, was in attendance and spoke about the private driveway and its use for delivery vehicles and trucks.

Discussions by commissioners about the installation of safety signs for vehicles getting out of pedestrian crossings along the sidewalk and side lane.

Needles Planning Commissioner Bob Rath asked Patrick Martinez, Director of Development Services at City of Needles, about the zoning of the property where the proposed cannabis retail store is and where the nearest residential zone is.

City of Needles Director of Development Services Patrick Martinez showed a map of the City of Needles zones; this shows that the area is a general commercial zone (green) reserved specifically for commercial companies; and the surrounding zones are the one-, two-, and multi-family residential zone (Purple), which includes south of Army Road, south of Interstate 40 near L Street, and around North K Street; Neon Pink commercial, residential and resort zone that includes the River Edge Golf Course; Light Manufacturing (yellow), which includes the marshalling yard for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway and public facilities (red) which includes the El Garces Train Depot, Needles High School, and Katie Hohstadt Elementary School.

*** City of Needles Zoning Plan (Unless otherwise noted, all downloadable agenda packs posted here are in PDF file format so please make sure you have a PDF reader or viewer): * **

Zoning_Map_2012_In-Town-Enlarged_24x36-1

When public commentary began, a nearby apartment spoke out on the phone against the proposed downtown cannabis retail store; the tears, anger and frustration can be heard over the phone at how much they are against other cannabis strains in their area.

Darla Walters asked about and read the email on the conference call, which Commission Chair Linda Kidd said “No” to which Darla asked, “Why not?”

The chairman of the commission, Linda Kidd, said, “Well … you can read it if you like Darla,” and Darla said, “I’m going to choke.”

At that point, her husband Marc Walters spoke on the conference call and said, “Why aren’t they read at the meeting? The board does not review any of the objections to … any submissions? “

Emotions increased when emails from opponents of the proposed retail cannabis store were not received during the meeting and were publicly read.

Commission chair Linda Kidd said: “We usually get copies of public comments, but we don’t necessarily read them because it’s time consuming. But do we also have your letter? “

Cindy Semione, Secretary of the Board of Directors, said to the chairman of the commission, Linda Kidd, “No, they only sent it to…” to which Marc Walters said, “It takes time to listen to how people talk about it, like them People come in there to buy their drugs and you don’t listen to the people who oppose it. “

Commission chairwoman Linda Kidd said, “Okay … you are welcome …”, which Marc Walters interrupted by saying, “I am firmly against further cannabis sales, especially near my property.”

Darla Walters then spoke about owning property on J Street and Broadway, saying that “these properties are divided into commercial and residential areas … around this property; and all of these houses are being used as residential properties. “

Darla Walters then mentioned an Airbnb next to the property and said, “They have young children – they come and stay there.”

Darla Walters then mentioned speaking to other property owners and said that “They are all against cannabis coming from behind them. Rita Chavez … on J Street, directly adjacent to her property. It’s not just commercial, “but Needles Planning Commissioner Bob Rath said,” It’s zoned, “and Needles Planning Commissioner Kevin Ostby added,” Both uses are allowed. “

Well, the public comments and debates continued, Needles City manager Rick Daniels speaks to Patrick and Cindy about the emails and shortly thereafter tries to get those emails to the board immediately.

A few minutes later, these emails, allegedly directed against the proposed retail cannabis store, were computerized and printed copies before the commissioners.

The latest resistance from local residents comes after members of the Needles City Council on Tuesday, Jan.

For years, how many more cannabis industries and retailers the City of Needles needs, and whether or not cannabis industries and retailers should be allowed in the downtown area, has been a big topic of heated debates, with residents getting more non-cannabis businesses doing well Community The City of Needles talks about the community’s revenue that will be used to repair critical infrastructure such as roads and water pipes.

But everyone agrees that the master plan for the City of Needles needs to be updated and completed, which community meetings will take place in November 2021; which the committee can decide where the city center is and what to build in those areas.

Following public comment and further discussion and debate, an application for approval of Resolution No. 10-20-2021 PC for a conditional use permit for a cannabis retail store in the C-2 General Commercial Zone at 1312 Broadway Street known as APN is also being made 0185-157-02-0000 and 1315 Front Street, also known as 0185-157-12-0000, with the terms and conditions stated by Commissioner Barbara Beard for the installation of a security gate where plans suggest a private driveway begins with View of Broadway when looking north – standing on the street across from the house – to the right of the house; and that would only be a security gate for private use; by the owner and the staff, and delegated by whomever they want; The exit can be done by turning if possible, but can also be done by crossing, where pedestrians come from the parking lot to Front Street into the building – with the appropriate warning signs.

But that first vote was 3-2, which was the motion, so Commissioner Bob Rath made the same earlier motion, but added a privacy fence along the property line from Broadway to Front, just on the side of the two residences (just along the east side of the property).

On the second vote, the members of the Needles Planning Commission unanimously voted in favor of the motion with the additional terms, including the privacy fence.

Next, the agenda item will be presented to the Needles City Council for discussion, public submission, and possible vote on action.

For more information, please contact Cindy Semione, Secretary to the Board of Directors at 1 (760) 326-2113 ext. 327.

***

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