Glendale anticipates zoning changes for pot dispensaries - East Valley Tribune: West Valley

Glendale anticipates zoning changes for pot dispensaries

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Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011 8:34 am | Updated: 9:03 am, Fri Jan 7, 2011.

Like every municipality in Arizona, Glendale will spend the next few months working on provisions to deal with the legalization of medical marijuana.

Thursday night, city staffers conducted a public meeting at the Glendale Adult Center to hear the public discuss the changes the city has proposed.

“Every city is dealing with medical marijuana in different ways,” said Planning Director Jon Froke. “We’ve been watching what other cities are doing, but we wanted to tailor ours to the specific values and expectations of our community.”

Glendale’s zoning code amendments have been posted online at www.glendaleaz.com/planning, and the highlights include:

• Restricting the dispensaries, cultivator locations and manufacturing facilities to commercial and industrial zones only.

• Requiring significant separation between each facility.

• Requiring significant distance between those facilities and schools, residential property, churches and child care centers.

One resident asked if Glendale could simply decline to participate. Senior Planner Thomas Ritz said that would not be an option.

“The way the provision is written is that cities are allowed to place reasonable regulations,” he said. “Outright prohibition would not be considered reasonable.”

Residents who wish to grow their own marijuana or caregivers who wish to grow for patients are supposed to be able to do so if they do not live within 25 miles of a dispensary. Ritz said Glendale residents probably will not have to worry about marijuana growing in a house next door.

“Glendale is 13 miles north to south, 19 miles east to west,” he said. “If and when a dispensary opens in Glendale, there will be no patients outside that 25-mile requirement.”

The ordinance changes will be considered by the city’s planning commission at its Jan. 20 public hearing. If the commission gives the green light, Froke said the changes will go before the City Council Feb. 8.

Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or jdempsey@yourwestvalley.com.

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