ORDINANCE NO. 447U
AN URGENCY INTERIM ZONING ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES PROHIBITING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES, STORES, OR CO-OPS IN ANY ZONING DISTRICT WITHIN THE CITY, AND ADOPTING FINDINGS OF URGENCY.
WHEREAS, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes is responsible for adopting and implementing land use regulations within its boundaries; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, the California voters adopted Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act (“Prop 215”), decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, which was augmented by the state legislature in 2004 and codified at Section 11362.5 et seq. of the California Health and Safety Code.
WHEREAS, widespread implementation of Prop 215 was delayed due to several ensuing court cases challenging its validity; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court has stated that Prop 215 makes the possession of marijuana for medical purposes noncriminal (People v. Mower, 28 Cal.4th 457 (2002)), however, the federal courts have not recognized such a medical necessity exception under federal law (United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyer’s Cooperative, 121 S. Ct. 1711 (2001)); and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the federal Commerce Clause powers gave Congress the authority to enact the Controlled Substances Act, which bans, among other things, the cultivation, use and transfer of marijuana for noncommercial purposes even though that cultivation, use and transfer occurs completely within the State of California, so that the federal ban covers marijuana cultivated, used or transferred pursuant to Prop 215, however, the Court did not expressly invalidate Prop 215 (Raich v. Ashcroft, 125 S. Ct. 2195 (2005)); and
WHEREAS, the City has not yet established any express criteria permanently banning or regulating the establishment, location or scope of operations for medical marijuana dispensary, store, or co-op uses; and
WHEREAS, at least two neighboring cities recently discovered that a medical marijuana dispensary was established within each of their jurisdictions; and
WHEREAS, with the expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries in other cities, it is foreseeable that a medical marijuana dispensary may seek to establish its business within the boundaries of the City; and
WHEREAS, cities have experienced adverse secondary impacts to the public peace, health, safety and welfare, such as an increase in thefts and robberies around medical marijuana dispensaries in support of illegal drug commerce; and
WHEREAS, the City Council is concerned that the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries, stores, or co-ops within the City before the City has enacted a permanent ban on such facilities or imposed appropriate restrictive regulations has the potential to cause adverse impacts to surrounding development and to risk the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of the City’s residents and the general public, and that it is therefore urgent that the City study the options available regarding enacting a permanent ban on such facilities or imposing appropriate restrictive regulation on medical marijuana dispensaries, stores, or co-ops to prevent the adverse impacts that may result from the unregulated establishment, placement and operation of such uses in the City; and
WHEREAS, given the time required for the planning commission to review this issue and report to the City Council, it is foreseeable that operators of medical marijuana dispensaries, stores, co-ops, and others could submit applications for such uses and/or proceed with the development of medical marijuana facilities, which may be incompatible with the result of this planning process, and before appropriate regulations and safeguards are in place; and
WHEREAS, this ordinance is presented as an urgency ordinance because the above-referenced facts increase the possibility of the unregulated development of medical marijuana dispensaries, stores, or co-ops within the City, and is, therefore, necessary for preserving the public peace, health, or safety;
NOW, THEREFORE THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Interim Prohibition on Marijuana Dispensaries, Stores, and Co-ops. No marijuana dispensary, store, or co-op, intended to provide marijuana for medicinal or any other purpose, shall locate, commence, obtain license for or be entitled by the City, in any zone, or any parcel, or at any place, public or private within the City. For purpose of this interim ordinance the term “marijuana dispensary, store, or co-op” shall be broadly and liberally interpreted to mean and include any location, structure, facility, vehicle, residence, or similar to the same used, in full or in part, as a place at or in which marijuana is sold, traded, exchanged, bartered for in any way, made available, located, stored, placed, or cultivated, including any of the foregoing if used in connection with the delivery of marijuana.
Section 2. No Conflict with State Law. This interim ordinance shall in no way limit qualified individuals’ right to possess, use, or cultivate marijuana for their own medicinal purposes as is presently authorized by the laws of the State of California as set forth in the applicable provisions of the Health and Safety Code. However, this interim ordinance shall not be interpreted as an opinion on the conflict between California’s medical marijuana laws and the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
Section 3. CEQA Compliance. The City Council hereby finds that it can be seen with certainty that this urgency ordinance has no likelihood of causing a significant negative effect on the environment and accordingly both the City Council’s action of adopting this ordinance and the effects derivative from that adoption are found to be exempt from the application of the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970, as amended, pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines (Title 14 C.C.R. 15061(b)(3)). This finding is premised on the fact that the adoption of this urgency interim ordinance will maintain the current environmental conditions arising from the current land use regulatory structure as adopted by the City without change or alteration.
Section 4. Authority. The City Council adopts this interim urgency ordinance, effective immediately, prohibiting the establishment of any marijuana dispensary, store, or co-op, as defined herein, in any zoning district of the City pursuant to the authority set forth in California Government Code Section 65858.
Section 5. Direction to Staff. The City Council hereby directs staff to promptly refer to the Planning Commission for its input and recommendation on amendments to the City’s Development Code.
Section 6. Moratorium term. This Ordinance shall expire, and the moratorium established hereby shall terminate, forty-five (45) days after the date of adoption unless extended by the City Council, at a regularly noticed public hearing, pursuant to California Government Code Section 65858. The City Clerk’s office shall undertake all actions legally necessary to extend this interim ordinance in the event the studies and reports desired by this City Council will not be concluded on or before the forty-fifth day subsequent to the adoption of this interim ordinance.
Section 7. Findings. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes is responsible for adopting and implementing land use regulations within its boundaries. The City currently has not established any express criteria permanently banning or regulating the establishment, location or scope of operations for medical marijuana dispensary, store, or co-op uses. The establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries, stores, or co-ops within the City has the potential to cause adverse impacts to surrounding development and to risk the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of the City’s residents and the general public. Such land uses could be established in the City at any time unless this ordinance is immediately adopted. This City Council hereby determines that it does not want such facilities established within the boundaries of the City during consideration by the Planning Commission of whether to adopt a permanent ban or some other restrictive regulation designed to protect public health, safety and welfare. Allowing marijuana dispensaries, stores, or co-ops to establish within the City before the Planning Commission and the City Council have considered this matter would be a failure to adequately govern and protect the peace, health, safety, and welfare of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The City’s staff will immediately refer this matter to the Planning Commission. Based on the foregoing, the City Council hereby finds that there exists a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare requiring this moratorium on marijuana dispensaries, stores, and co-ops pursuant to Government Code Section 65858; further hereby finds that this ordinance is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety; hereby declares the facts constituting the urgency; and passes this ordinance by at least a four-fifths vote of the City Council. Accordingly, this measure is adopted immediately upon introduction pursuant to Government Code Section 36934 and shall take effect immediately pursuant to Government Code Section 36937(b).
Section 8. The City Council declares that, should any provision, section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this ordinance be rendered or declared unconstitutional, or invalid, or ineffective by any final action in a court of competent jurisdiction, or by reason of any preemptive legislation, the remaining provisions, sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases and words of this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed each provision, section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one (1) or more provisions, sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases or words be declared unconstitutional, or invalid, or ineffective.
Section 9. The City Clerk shall cause this Ordinance to be posted in three (3) public places in the City within fifteen (15) days after its passage, in accordance with the provisions of Section 36933 of the Government Code. The City Clerk shall further certify to the adoption and posting of this Ordinance, and shall cause this Ordinance and its certification, together with proof of posting, to be entered in the Book of Ordinances of the Council of this City.
Section 10. This Ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and effect immediately upon adoption.
PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 3rd day of October 2006.
/s/ Stefan Wolowicz
/s/ Carolynn Petru
STATE OF CALIFORNIA )
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES )ss
CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES )
I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. 447U was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on October 3, 2006, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern, and Mayor Wolowicz