Antelope Valley Press

City OKs zone changes for cannabis

Some concerned about ‘Cannabis Corridor’


CALIFORNIA CITY — The City Council agreed to change the zoning for two separate areas along the western section of California City Boulevard to allow for cannabis projects, despite some concerns that the area will be what Mayor Pro Tem Ron Smith called a “Cannabis Corridor.”

The council on Tuesday considered two requests for zone changes, from open space/residentia­l agricultur­e to light industrial, the zone that allows for cannabis projects.

The first request is in regard to nearly 32 acres on California City Boulevard between the railroad crossing and Baron Boulevard, according to the staff report. The property owners plans to build 258,600 square feet in 26 buildings for cannabis-related operations.

The second request concerned a smaller area, 9.78 acres, with the same zoning changes, to allow for a planned 80,000-square-foot cannabis facility. It is further west on California City Boulevard than the first project; both are on the south side of the boulevard.

There are already cannabis businesses operating on the north side of the boulevard in this area, creating an industrial cluster, Planning Consultant Anu Doravari noted in recommendi­ng the zoning change.

This clustering was opposed by Smith, who reiterated his complaints about the lack of compliance with odor control regulation­s in existing cannabis businesses.

“The clustering is a problem until we get these (odor control violations) corrected,” he said.

Resident Jane Riding also was opposed to the clustering of cannabis businesses on California City Boulevard, as it could deter other

economic developmen­t.

Smith and others also took issue with the growing number of accelerati­on/ decelerati­on lanes on California City Boulevard to allow for traffic turning into and out of the business. That section of the boulevard has not historical­ly had much cross traffic and is an area already of concern for traffic collisions.

Council members were reminded that the matter before them was only a zoning change, not approval of a specific developmen­t project. As such, Mayor Kelly Kulikoff said many concerns may be addressed during the developmen­t process.

“Anything that comes to town is better than nothing,” Councilmem­ber Michael Kulikoff said, adding the city needs to encourage developmen­t of the California City Boulevard corridor, which connects the main area of the city with State Route 14.

Supporters of the zone change also noted that it is consistent with land use for the area in the city’s General Plan.

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