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  • Board approves medical marijuana zoning changes

    Sep 15, 2015 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted 3-2 to approve a zoning code amendment allowing medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers in the gateway and overlay zones. Gateways zones are the main entries to the city and overlay zones cover specified areas of the county and exist on top of already zoned areas, amending that area’s zoning to allow or restrict land uses different than the existing zoning. 

    The change was not initiated by Development Services staff, as is usually the case for zoning revisions. “This change was in response to someone who wants to open a medical dispensary or cultivation center and needed to change the rules to allow it to happen,” said Chris Poirier, Assistant Planning Official with Development Services Department (DSD), referring to Epstein Feingold Consulting Group, the firm responsible for submitting the text amendment on behalf of its client, Sean and Lori Nicks. 

    Included in the revised code amendment is the county’s right to impose additional reasonable restrictions, as necessary, but property owners will still need to follow the licensing and permit requirements and the overall process, which includes review by the Planning and Zoning Commission and approval by the Board of Supervisors. The approved zoning restriction will not apply to historic zones.

    The only operational medical marijuana dispensary in Pima County is located in Ajo, but the county expects requests for additional sites will follow once the zoning changes take place 30 days from now. 

    Poirier assured the Board his department would notify property owners when an application for a dispensary or cultivation site is within a half mile of their property, and also would inform the Supervisors if the site were in their district.  

    Chair Sharon Bronson and Supervisor Ray Carroll voted against the changes.