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At its regular meeting Tuesday night at City Hall, the Santa Clarita City Council will hold the first reading of a proposed ordinance prohibiting cannabis-related commercial land uses and restricting home cultivation in the city “in a manner consistent with Proposition 64.”

The ordinance would limit home cultivation of cannabis plants to within an enclosed, secured structure, including private residences and accessory structures located on the grounds of a private residence. Cultivation could not occur in garages, on balconies in courtyards or other outdoor spaces.

An alternative recommended by the Planning Commission and to be considered by the Council would allow residents to cultivate up to six cannabis plants in their garages.

The Council will introduce the proposed ordinance and take public comment Tuesday night, then pass to it to a second reading at a time to be determined.

Information from the agenda item follows:

Background
Proposition 64 was passed by voter initiative in November 2016 and allows for the possession, use, sale, personal and commercial cultivation, manufacturing, testing and delivery of recreational cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control began to issue licenses for commercial businesses on January 2, 2018. However, commercial licenses may only be issued by the BCC if these uses are not prohibited by local ordinance. Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug under the Federal Controlled Substance Act.

The Santa Clarita City Council passed a temporary moratorium on commercial cannabis-related land uses on December 13, 2016. The purpose of the moratorium was to allow staff time to research the issue and present their findings to the City Council. The moratorium was extended by the City Council on January 24, 2017, with an expiration date of December 12, 2017.

At the November 28, 2017, City Council meeting, after consideration of staff’s report on their research and testimony from the public, the City Council directed staff to prepare an ordinance which would: 1) prohibit all commercial land uses associated with recreational cannabis; and 2) restrict personal home growth of cannabis in a manner consistent with Prop 64.

The City Council also adopted an Urgency Ordinance extending the existing moratorium on cannabis-related commercial land uses for an additional year, to expire on December 12, 2018. This will allow staff time to prepare documents associated with the ordinance and follow the required public hearing process for its eventual adoption. The City Council’s motion, containing both actions, was approved unanimously.

On February 6, 2018, staff presented draft amendment language to Title 17 of the City of Santa Clarita Unified Development Code to the Planning Commission. Consistent with City Council direction, staff recommended amendments that would prohibit cannabis-related commercial land uses and regulate the home cultivation of cannabis.

The Planning Commission adopted a resolution recommending the City Council approve Master Case No. 17-266 with one suggested change to staff’s recommendation (see Analysis, below). The motion passed with four votes in favor, no votes against, and one abstention. A signed copy of Resolution P18-03 is attached as Exhibit A.

cannabis

Project Description
The proposed project, Master Case No. 17-266, including UDC Amendment 17-003, is comprised of proposed amendments to the following sections of the UDC: 17.11 (Definitions); 17.43 (Commercial Use Types); 17.51 (Property Development Standards – All Zones); 17.57 (Property Development Standards – Residential); 17.65.030 (Home Occupations); 17.66.025 (Cottage Food Operations); and 17.67 (Temporary Uses).

None of the proposed amendments will prohibit the possession, ingestion, smoking or home cultivation of cannabis by adults 21 years of age and older, provided those activities are conducted in a manner consistent with Prop 64. Prop 64 includes regulations regarding where and when cannabis cannot be possessed and used and, as a result, changes to the Tobacco Control portion of the city’s Municipal Code are not required.

Proposed amendments are included in the draft Ordinance attached to this report. Strikethrough text is attached as Exhibit B.

Amendments are summarized as follows:

· 17.11.020, Definitions: New definitions have been added for “Cannabis,” “Commercial Cannabis Activity,” “Commercial Cannabis Facility,” “Cultivation” and “Products Containing Cannabis.”

· 17.43.010.7, Commercial Use Types: Replaces the existing commercial use type “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries” with “Commercial Cannabis Facilities,” prohibiting them in all zones.

· 17.51.005, Cannabis Standards (All Zones): A new section of the UDC has been added identifying cannabis-related commercial land uses, cottage food operations, home occupations and temporary uses as prohibited in all zones.

The section also includes requirements for the regulation of home cultivation of cannabis in all zones within the City. Requirements include:

o Limiting the number of cannabis plants cultivated at any time to six per private residence;

o Limiting cultivation of cannabis plants to within an enclosed, secured structure, including private residences and accessory structures located on the grounds of a private residence. Cultivation could not occur in garages, on balconies in courtyards or other outdoor spaces;

o Establishing standards for the limitation of odors;

o A prohibition on the use of combustible gases during the cultivation, known as blasting;

o Limiting lighting used for home cultivation to 1,000 watts per lamp;

o A requirement for a fire extinguisher in the room or structure where the cultivation occurs; and

o Standards for the disposal of cannabis plants cultivated at home.

· 17.57.020.T, Property Development Standards – Residential: New language referencing design standards included in section 17.51.005 (above).

· 17.65.030, Home Occupation Permits, Prohibited Uses: New language adding cannabis-related commercial land uses to the list of prohibited land uses for Home Occupation Permits.

· 17.66.025.M, Cottage Food Operations: New language prohibiting cannabis-related land uses from receiving a Cottage Food Permit.

· 17.67.030.T, Temporary Uses: New language prohibiting cannabis-related land uses from receiving a Temporary Use Permit.

The proposed amendments would impact all properties within the city of Santa Clarita in all zones.

ANALYSIS
Consistency with Prop 64
Prop 64 preserves local land use authority for cities and counties throughout California regarding commercial land uses. Each city and county in the State of California can independently determine whether to allow or prohibit the retail sale, commercial cultivation, manufacturing, testing, and delivery of cannabis within their jurisdiction, in accordance with local land use and zoning designations.

Prop 64 does not allow local jurisdictions to prohibit personal possession, smoking, or consumption of cannabis, nor does it allow local jurisdictions to prohibit the cultivation of up to six plants within a private residence. However, local jurisdictions may reasonably regulate cultivation of cannabis within a private residence.

City Council Direction
The proposed amendments are consistent with the direction provided by the City Council at their regular meeting on November 28, 2017, to prepare an ordinance prohibiting all commercial cannabis land uses and regulating home cultivation in a manner consistent with Prop 64.

At that time, the City Council also adopted an Urgency Ordinance to extend the existing moratorium prohibiting recreational commercial cannabis land uses. The moratorium will expire on December 12, 2018.

A copy of the agenda item that was presented to the City Council at its regular meeting on November 28, 2017, is attached as Exhibit C. That staff report contains a summary of staff’s research and findings regarding Prop 64.

A signed copy of the Urgency Ordinance (Urgency Ordinance 17-14) extending the moratorium on recreational cannabis is attached as Exhibit D.

February 6, 2018, Planning Commission Resolution
At the Planning Commission meeting on February 6, 2018, Commissioners adopted Resolution P18-03, recommending the City Council approve Master Case No. 17-266.

A portion of staff’s proposed amendments included regulations for the home cultivation of cannabis. Within those regulations, staff recommended home cultivation be prohibited in garages and courtyards, on balconies, and in other outdoor spaces.

As part of their motion, the Planning Commission approved staff’s recommendation, but with an added amendment to remove garages from the list of prohibited spaces for home cultivation, thereby allowing cultivation in garages.

The recommended ordinance language attached to this staff report continues to include the original staff recommendation which includes garages as a prohibited space for the home cultivation of cannabis.

The Planning recommendation to staff’s recommendation is included as an alternative action within this staff report.

marijuana

Permitting
No permit will be required for the home cultivation of up to six cannabis plants as provided by Prop 64. However, structural changes or upgrades to residential electrical panels to accommodate home cultivation may require a building permit or electrical permit.

Environmental
The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act under Article 5 section 15061(b)(3), the general rule exemption. The activity is covered by the general rule that CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. Where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, the activity is not subject to CEQA. The Notice of Exemption prepared for the project is attached.

Noticing
All notices required by law were completed, which consisted of a one-eighth-page legal advertisement in The Signal Newspaper on March 6, 2018. As of the writing of this staff report, no correspondence has been received from the community.

Alternative Action
City Council introduce and pass to second reading the proposed ordinance, but amended to include the Planning Commission recommendation to remove garages from the list of prohibited spaces within private residences for purposes of the home cultivation of cannabis.

Other actions as determined by the City Council.

Comment On This Story
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8 Comments

  1. Rudy Ten Rudy Ten says:

    Time to VOTE these people out

  2. Karen Bunn Karen Bunn says:

    I’m not sure what their issues are.

  3. JackFinely says:

    We voted to affirm the proposition 64. Why does the CC feel like they know what we want here in SCV?

  4. Don Rodgers says:

    Many of us didn’t vote for legalization and do not want this to change our wonderful community.

  5. Pretty much sure to vote the Legalization of Marijuana and I will support it all the way.

    Marijuana Seeds Bank

Leave a Comment


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