By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
Odds still very much against them
Grantville Green medical marijuana providers will once again apply for Planning Commission approval to open for business in Grantville, knowing it will once again be an uphill battle against the city of San Diego.
This time, Grantville Green will apparently be going it alone. Living Green, another applicant, is not on the agenda for the July 21 Planning Commission hearing.
Both were on the docket for the June 23 meeting of the commission. They were in line to be heard back in April, when the commissioners threw up their hands and delayed the whole process for several shops around the city. Both applicants asked for more time to decide what to do. Grantville Green is coming back to the commission on the July 21, while Living Green asked to be put off until a date yet to be determined.
That change created a new method of measuring whether the proposed locations were within 1,000 feet of the designated parklands.
The change, though, may not have done Living Green (at 4417 Rainier St.) and Grantville Green (at 4410 Glacier St.) any good. It appears, even with the new method of measurement, both are well inside the 1,000 foot barrier.
“We will again be recommending denial of the applications,” said Edith Gutierrez of the city’s Planning Department.
In the Grantville Green case, there is also the problem of that location’s proximity to the Stein Education Center, which the city defines as a school under the land development code. That’s also against the rules.
Ron Miller of Grantville Green says there are questions that need to be answered.
“It seems that the city is simply trying to throw roadblocks in the way. The new rules don’t change a thing, and we don’t think that’s right. We question whether the Stein Center is really a school by normal definitions.
“We’ve also been told that the new definitions of the law, and the change in zoning all over Grantville, could take away our zoning and rights to operate in that whole area. We’re supposed to have been grandfathered in because our application was deemed complete before the zoning changes, and that we’d be allowed to operate under that basis. Now, we’re hearing that we might have to go to the back of the line and start all over again, by paying all the thousands of dollars in fees that we’ve already paid.”
Miller has been adamant all along that he and partner Nick Hosig have no interest in operating a commercial cooperative catering to long lines of people with doctor’s recommendations, but are looking to treat people with real and clearly defined serious medical problems, such as cancer, HIV, severe rheumatism and other long-standing ailments.
The fact that they’re asking for approval for only a 600-square-foot facility would seem to support that position.
Grantville Green, which had been trying to fight the battle on their own, has now hired well-known attorney Michael Cindrich, who will represent the partners at the July 21 Planning Commission hearing, and wherever it goes after that.
Living Green, on the other hand, has not so far asked to be put on the agenda, and may be out of time to do so for at least this cycle. Their attorney, Gina Austin, could not be reached for comment.
If the commission decides against the two applicants — Grantville Green on July 21, and Living Green whenever they come before the commission — they have no right of appeal to the City Council. The Planning Commission is their last avenue, other than to challenge the decisions and the whole process, in court.
That has been talked about in legal circles.
It might very well happen.
—Doug Curlee is Editor at Large. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.