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Grover Beach takes step to allow pot businesses in more areas of the city

A view of South 4th Street in Grover Beach, which would be part of a 86-acre area on the southern edge of the city that marijuana businesses could operate in, if approved by the city.
A view of South 4th Street in Grover Beach, which would be part of a 86-acre area on the southern edge of the city that marijuana businesses could operate in, if approved by the city. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Grover Beach’s newest plan for marijuana businesses would allow them in more areas throughout town, though the city’s main commercial center, Grand Avenue, is still off the table for now.

After tossing out its last plan to limit marijuana businesses to an industrial region of town in February, Grover Beach city staff has drafted a new plan that would allow approved cannabis businesses to set up shop within the city’s industrial, coastal industrial and coastal industrial commercial zones, upping the allowed area from 64 acres to 86 acres.

The Grover Beach Planning Commission approved the new land-use amendment Wednesday night in a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Greg Alex dissenting. The proposed ordinance would allow commercial medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, testing laboratories, transportation, delivery, distribution and retail sales.

The three zones are mostly on the western side of the city, along Highway 1. They are comprised primarily of small- to medium-sized businesses in buildings less than 20,000 square feet, according to a city staff report.

The City Council scrapped its last plan that limited marijuana businesses to an industrial portion of town between Farroll Road and Highland Way because of concerns that concentrating them in one area negatively impacts the existing businesses in the neighborhood.

At the time, the City Council indicated it would be open to allowing some marijuana-related businesses to open on the city’s main thoroughfare, Grand Avenue, as well, if it would lessen some of the pressure on the Farroll industrial area.

Grand Avenue was not included in Wednesday night’s decision, and it will likely be considered in a separate study of potential impacts of allowing marijuana businesses in the city’s commercial zones.

The new amendment will head to the City Council for consideration at its next meeting. And because it involves “coastal” zoned land, if approved, the amendment would also have to be considered by the California Coastal Commission. That process could take up to three months.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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