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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban, Two-Year City Budget on Wednesday City Council Agenda

This week City Council will review ordinances to approve a ban on medicinal marijuana dispensaries, the ECO Bike Parkway and taking city code enforcement for local residents to the next level.

On June 15 at 6 p.m., the Imperial Beach City Council will meet to discuss a range of topics that may greatly impact IB's future.

The meeting convenes at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., Council will hold its first reading of business and zoning ordinances to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The proposed ordinances state the city is sympathetic with medical marijuana patients, but believes existing facilities just across Imperial Beach's border can serve patient's needs.

It also states this ordinance will not interfere with current state laws concerning the rights of medical marijuana patients. This is agenda item 3.1.

Attached is a 62-paged Drug Enforcement Agency document explaining the federal agency's stance on marijuana.

Before theordinance is read memeber of the public will be allowed to voice their opinion on the subject.

Also on agenda is approval of the city's operating budgets for the next two fiscal years.

The total proposed 2011-2012 operating budget, which begins July 1, is $33.2 million for fiscal year 2011-2012 and $33.6 million the following year.

This is agenda item 6.1. A detailed breakdown of city expenses is included as an attached document in the agenda packet.

No new programs or increased service levels in programs are planned.

City staff is also asking authorization to pay the Public Employment Retirement System side pension fund and to adjust for variances. Savings from PERS interest rates is more than $100,000 per year, the city Finance Department said.

The Imperial Beach Firefighters’ Association (IBFA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 221, city managements and unrepresented employees in closed session before the meeting.

Several concerns with the state budget required to be approved by June 15 includes elimination of redevelopment agencies, further property tax declines and contracts with the Sheriff's Department and Port of San Diego.

A Code Compliance case is item 5.1 on the agenda regarding property conditions at 741 Hickory Court.

After two citizen complaints, the city cited owners with visual blight, property maintenance constituting a public nuisance and inoperable or abandon vehicles stored on the property.

City staff reports after notices and citations from May 13, 2010 to May 9, 2011 with no response from property owners, abatement of violations occurred.

To date, charges due by property owners are $9,990, including $4,590 in penalties and interest charges as of May 9. Staff recommends extending compliance before August 15.

If not corrected, city staff recommends city manager authority to cause the abatement, completed by city or through private contract.

Property owners Del Rosal and Musick-Del Rosal began negotiations with the city and went on record they could comply with part of the violations, but are unable to complete it all in time allowed and could not commit to a work plan.

This resolution orders property owners to remove all junk, trash and debris, repair roof, remove tarps and remove all inoperable vehicles from the property.

Any work performed by the city is at the expense of the owner and can constitute a lien against the property. Civil penalties, $50 a day per violations accrued between May 9-18 "shall be held in abeyance until further decision or order by the City Council."

In an attempt to minimize market risk, the city is looking to amend its current investment policy allowing floating rates and step up rate investments with maturities longer than five years.

This change minimizes market risk and reduces the high frequency of called bonds. City reports 14 bonds purchased with 15 called over the past year. Calls normally occur due to declining interest rates. In fiscal year 2010-11, interest-earning bond revenue totaled approximately $1 million. This is agenda Item 2.3.

Originally submitted November 2008, The Potter's House Christian Fellowship Church is processing an application to occupy 808 13th Street near Palm Avenue.

Project area is in a medium-density residential zone. This building formerly was the Pinkham Mitchell Imperial Beach Mortuary from 1967-2008. This is agenda item 5.2.

A one-year time extension for a Coastal Development permit for Imperial Beach ECO Bike Traffic Calming Project on Palm Avenue from 7th Street to 3rd Street expired. Estimated total project cost is $2.2 million.

The City Manager recommends adopting a resolution to approve Administrative Coastal Development Permit for the ECO Bikeway Palm Avenue Traffic Calming Project. This is agenda item 5.3.

The City Council will appoint one its members to serve on the Otay River Management Plan Policy Committee.

A chapter of city code related to affirmative action will be repealed.

Reports and more detailed language about each of these issued to be decided by Council Wednesday is included in the agenda packet.

Marcus Boyd June 14, 2011 at 12:57 AM
It's a funny thing, the city's reasoning's and ordinance clearly refer to the San Diego City ordinance when it suits the city, like distances from a ridiculous laundry list of 'sensitive use' locations. However, when is does not serve them, they ignore it completely. For instance, the San Diego ordinance clearly has all dispensaries in the city closing, and zones out all areas around Imperial Beach. So, IB residents are, in fact, not considered at all in the ordinance to be anything but a nuisance to be abated. Additionally, as the Patch has reported, the city purports that the ordinance will not interfere with current state laws concerning the rights of medical marijuana patients. That's absolutely not true! According to the Americans for Safe Access press release regarding the wording of the ordinance, the ordinance specifically aims to gut Prop. 215 by disregarding SB 420, the law that allows collective cultivation. http://www.safeaccesssd.org/2011/06/imperial-beach-to-ban-collective.html
Marcus Boyd June 14, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Directly from the press release; Although the staff report compiled for the June 15th meeting states, “the ordinances would not ban medical marijuana in the city,” the actual wording of the proposed law goes much further than merely banning storefronts. If approved, medical cannabis patients in Imperial Beach would be banned from associating to collectively or cooperatively cultivate medical marijuana, an activity explicitly authorized and protected under State Law. The proposed ban severely limits legal access for seriously injured, sick and dying patients and their caregivers. Those with no space to cultivate, those without the requisite gardening skills to grow their own, and most critically those who face the sudden onset of serious illness, would be forced to ‘plow the fields’ themselves. Read more here ... http://www.safeaccesssd.org/2011/06/imperial-beach-to-ban-collective.html
What's the Deal? June 14, 2011 at 06:07 PM
I never want to deny anyone medical care. But having a substance abuse treatment center down the street from IB, within the boundaries of the City of San Diego, (which already has a MJ dispensary two doors down), will make the work of the folks that work in the treatment center to try to help people with substance abuse problems, that much harder if dispensaries are set up just up the street in IB. If you or someone you know has ever dealt with issues of substance abuse (alcoholism or drug addiction), than you know how difficult it is for a person to stay on course and determined to get clean when the temptation is there to smoke the green. I know one of the guys that works at the treatment center and he's said that some of the clients have come in flaunting medical marijuana cards. When he told me this, I shook my head and thought 'So much for holding oneself accountable and being serious about staying clean'. This is just a thought on a perspective that is rarely addressed in the marijuana dispensary conversation.
Marcus Boyd June 14, 2011 at 08:34 PM
As with all other myths about cannabis, the issue of 'marijuana addiction' too has been dispelled with scientific evidence through clinical research locally by UCSD in 2005. Not only is cannabis a much different substance when it comes to it's 'addictive qualities', it has shown clear evidence of assisting addicts with recovery from drugs that are actually harmful to the human body. http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/images/pdfs/07_Lupica.pdf As the restrictions on clinical studies relaxes, the amazing benefits that cannabinoids have on the entire body are becoming more well-known, highly respected, and with each study, proof of harm to the human body is not found, only benefits. www.cmcr.ucsd.edu

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