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El Camino Motel Demolition, Marijuana Regulation at Wednesday Council Meeting

The public will also be asked to voice their opinion about a speed limit increase on Palm Avenue at Wednesday's Imperial Beach City Council meeting.

After 10 percent of registered voters signatures were gathered in IB, the Imperial Beach City Council may choose to approve the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach or support a competing ballot measure at their July 18 meeting.

The Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach would regulate medical marijuana in IB and strike a dispensary ban council passed into law by city council last summer.

Once a 10 percent threshold is met, state election code requires the city adopt the ordinance or place the matter on a general election ballot.

Medical marijuana dispensary regulation is agenda item 6.3 and will be heard specifically at 8 p.m.

City council will weigh four options at their July 18 meeting.

1. Approve the ordinance

This would require a special meeting 10 days after the July 18 for final approval, and would require Coastal Commission approval.

2. Request a report

City Council may request a report which asks city staff to explore the ramifications of passing the ordinance. If the report is received at council's next meeting Aug. 1 then the ordinance can appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. If council instructs city staff to bring the report back at their next meeting Aug. 15, the ordinance will miss a county registrar of voters deadline and will have to wait until the next general election in 2014.

3. Propose a competing ballot initiative

Then the initiative that receives the most votes becomes law. This route is not likely since there may not be enough time, City Manager Gary Brown told IB Patch after the county registrar of voters verified collected signatures last month.

4. Put the initiative on the ballot

If a majority of Imperial Beach voters approve the ordinance it will become law. Putting the initiative on the November ballot will cost about $8,500-$9,000.

In portions of the agenda packet which discuss the legality of the initiative, the city states that by passing medical marijuana regulation, the city risks its employees being prosecuted by the federal government for providing business licenses to dispensaries.

The concern of employee prosecution "doesn't pass the smell test," said Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Alex Kreit.

Kreit is also part of a Medical Marijuana Task Force who advise the San Diego City Council.

"Officials across California and in other states, like Colorado, have been issuing permits and licenses to medical marijuana collectives for years.  The federal government has never prosecuted any state or local officials in connection with these laws," he said.

A public hearing will be held for people who disagree with increasing the speed limit on State Route 75 just east of Delaware Street to the western city limits from 40 to 45 mph.

The speed limit was changed as a result of a recently updated speed survey.

Caltrans representatives will be on-hand to answer questions during the public hearing. See the attached agenda packet for a full list of city staff objections to a speed increase.

After public comment is received city staff recommends the Imperial Beach City Council pass a resolution which opposes a speed limit increase.

Analysis by city staff concluded that a higher speed limit may produce a higher rate of crashes. Bikes traveling into the city from the Bayshore Bikeway and cars leaving motor homes may also be at risk of more car accidents. The increase is also incompatible with the city's goal to make the city more pedestrian friendly, staff said.

This is agenda item 5.1.

Also on the agenda is an order to demand the owner of the El Camino Motel on Highway 75 be demolished within 60 days of July 18. The hotel which was used in scenes for the former HBO show John from Cincinnati in 2007.

Since then the sheriff's department has responded to an average of more than 50 calls for service a year. Homeless people living in the bungalows has been repeatedly reported. People used to skate and ride bikes in the old pool but it was sealed with steel plates in 2009. A person attempted to commit suicide in the hotel's Little Vienna Lounge in April.

The city is also demanding the owner D&A Semi Annual Mortgage Fund pay fees and penalties of $9,500.

Demolition is estimated to cost $200,000 to $400,000.

This is agenda item 5.2.

Michael McGrane retired from his position as the city's Finance Director July 5. McGrane will continue to serve as an Interim Finance Director until a permanent replacement is found.

This is agenda item 2.6.

Beyond paying employees, the city spent $2.3 million from June 14 to July 6. To see the full list of city expenses, view the meeting agenda packet.

This is agenda item 2.2.

The city plans to spend about $13,500 for 4 terabytes of disc space in network storage space.

This is agenda item 2.3.

With agenda item 5.3, the city council will be asked to approve new signage for Romantix Adult Bookstore on Palm Avenue.

Agenda item 5.4 considers an increase in Imperial Beach Sports Park and Recreation Center user and rental fees. The city estimates that new fees will make the city about $20,000.

Allison Rolfe, project manager for Pacifica Companies, will give a quarterly update on the construction of the hotel to replace the Seacoast Inn.

Kelly Tracy July 17, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Hello Jon In regards to you "unbuckled people" coment----- seat belts have been proven to save lives. I am living prof, so even though some people think the seat belt law is another way to raise revenue it's not,and to those people thinking risking there life is there personal choice well yes it is but please consider ALL the other people your loss may affect.
John Galt July 17, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I vote for number two. Request a report; City Council may request a report which asks city staff to explore the ramifications of passing the ordinance. And the council instructs city staff to bring the report back at their next meeting Aug. 15, the ordinance will miss a county registrar of voters deadline and will have to wait until the next general election in 2014. Gives time for the Feds to change the laws and IB to develop a decent plan while keeping the pot heads at bay. Seems like a nice legal tactic to me. I wonder how many of the pot heads are actually property owners and have something to lose? I doubt very many. I wonder how many pot heads are responsible parents? I doubt very many. I wonder how many pot heads have jobs that pay over $60,000/yr? I wonder how many pot heads will be pissed at me for stating the facts? All This is not about medical marijuana. It is about a foothold to legalize marijuana. The tactic is to hurt small cities financially into passing such a law. So instead of going the proper route, and getting the Federal Laws changed, the supporters complain, make noise, but have NOTHING to offer.
Jon Hall July 17, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Kelly --- something for you to ponder ... When the Sheriff sits at the McDonalds and stops folks he sees at the light wouldn't it be more productive if he just motioned to them to buckle up ??? Or is it the fine paid to their coffers that makes us *safer* ??? Just wonderin' ...
Ms. Ida & Mauli July 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Wow... IB posters are spoken out today. The Hotel on Palm or HWY 75.......that is ourt major , major exit and entry to this town, been closed since 05 or so, even when it was open it was a shithole, the bar was a dump with over 50 worn out " you buy me drinky" gals. make that thing go away, the city should of bought that instead of other properties...it really is a one of a kind pice of dirt...something real cool could go in there...hell maybe even a really cool hotel, maybe with "you buy me drinky gals". Folks, walk around or drive I.b at a real slow pace (walking is best, and really take in how much empty preoperty there is here. I said this before in another post awhile back, down by the beach. Lets start at a closed burger king, big, big lot behind the "all american car wash", very blighted key and real estate shops , keep going past the bank, closed laundrymat, horrible bowman liquor, little taco shop (great burrito's).....keep going, closed all the time donut shop, closed bait shop, empty former furniture guy, blighted and run down tire shop, weeds growing all over the place........Ya know all of these have promise for something......what gives?.....that is only a two block stretch.....dont get me started on the other side of palm... no solutions....well a D-10 dozer and demolition business may b a good startup biz.........OK...i go bye bye
Kelly Tracy July 18, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Jon, I dont agree that law enforcement should give a warning or look the other way about not wearing seat belts. It's not like the seat belt law is new. It's been in effect since1986. I think 26 years is plenty of time to know better than to drive unbuckled. While the not buckling up... only physically jeopardizes the unbuckled. On another note... all these people holding their phone up to their ear yammering while driving... are jeopardizing everyone around them. Today's average motor vehicle's weigh in at around 3000 plus pounds. Most people don't consider they are driving a potential deadly weapon. If you should be hit by one of these people while you are not wearing a seat belt... that could be unfortunate. Just a few things to think a bout

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