By Karen Billing
The Del Mar Union School District board would like to weigh in on the city’s medical marijuana ordinance, ensuring that dispensaries not be located near school campuses. At its May 22 meeting, the board directed staff to come back with a potential resolution on the subject.
Local community planning groups in Carmel Valley and Torrey Pines have taken similar stances of opposition against the dispensaries being located in neighborhood community zones.
In April, Mayor Bob Filner proposed an ordinance that would allow dispensaries in community commercial as well as industrial zones, including Flower Hill Promenade, Del Mar Heights Village on Mango Drive close to Del Mar Hills School, and the future Pacific Highlands Ranch Village Center, down the street from Sycamore Ridge.
On April 22, San Diego City Council did not back Filner’s proposal and directed city staff to draft a new ordinance, going back to the language similar to the city’s 2011’s ordinance. Council also requested that dispensaries be located at least 1,000 feet from “sensitive uses” such as schools and at least 100 feet from residential zones.
Sending back the Mayor’s proposed ordinance took many of the proposed community commercial zones off the list. The closest possible location to Carmel Valley would be in Sorrento Valley off Roselle Street.
Del Mar School District Trustee Doug Perkins said that, in his opinion, dispensaries ought to be kept “as far away from school sites and where our children hang out as possible.” Board Vice President Scott Wooden agreed that he wouldn’t like to see medical marijuana storefronts around Carmel Valley or Del Mar retail centers, that they are more appropriate in “heavy duty” commercial or industrial areas.
Mel Millstein, a representative for Councilmember Sherri Lightner, said he does not see the issue coming back before council for another six to nine months. Perkins, however, said he would like the district’s voice to come into the process sooner rather than later.