Marijuana establishments’ code tweaked by Carson City Planning Commission

The Planning Commission on Wednesday tweaked some proposed changes to the Carson City zoning code concerning marijuana establishments and voted to recommend the amendment to the Board of Supervisors.

The suggested code changes allowing recreational marijuana facilities mimic the code for medical marijuana establishments in terms of zoning: marijuana retail stores, co-located with medical marijuana dispensaries, are allowed in General Commercial and General Industrials zones while cultivation, product manufacturers and testing laboratories are allowed as a conditional use in the General Industrial and General Industrial Airport zones.

The one area where the proposed recreational marijuana code differs is in distributors, a new category of business the state decided to limit to liquor distributors.

The initial proposal from staff was to allow distributors in Light Industrial and General Industrial zones as permitted uses, the same as liquor distributors.

That would have meant the businesses would require no special permit to operate.

During public comment several people spoke to oppose that. “My house backs up to Light Industrial,” said Linda Mackenzie. “I’m not asking you to vote no, just to keep it to General Industrial.”

The commission decided to allow distributors in both zones, but to make distribution of retail pot a conditional use in both.

“My recommendation is to remove it from a permitted use to a conditional use. Then they would have to come before the Planning Commission,” to apply for the required special use permit, said Chairman Paul Esswein.

“At that time the public would have the opportunity to say what there concerns are about that particular property.”

The commission voted 5-1 to recommend the amendment with retail marijuana distribution a conditional use in Light Industrial and General Industrial zones.

Commissioner Daniel Salerno, who has said in the past he opposes all marijuana businesses because the drug is still illegal under federal law, voted no.

The commission also approved a special use permit for Carson City Agency Solutions LLC, a marijuana production establishment on Highway 50 East, to expand its operations from 2,240 square feet to 4,802 square feet to add production, storage, logistics and receiving area.

The commission voted to recommend the supervisors extend the existing moratorium on new marijuana establishments, which expires Sept. 19, by as much as 180 days in order for the city to complete and approve the needed ordinances.

The Planning Commission decided to eliminate the possibility of a childcare facility at the Nevada Builders Alliance former office on Randell Drive.

The office had an unusual resolution of intent attached to which it said the property could only be used as offices for NBA and had to revert to residential zoning if the property were sold.

NBA has since moved offices but wants to hold onto the property and had lined up a daycare business to lease it, which was opposed by neighbors that shared a fence.

The Board of Supervisors requested the commission consider a planned unit development, which would zone the property Neighborhood Business but limit its permitted uses to a few types of businesses and allow a childcare facility as a conditional use.

The commission decided to remove all conditional uses, including childcare, and limit it to a few permitted uses, mostly retail and including single-family residence.

An SUP was approved for a new childcare facility at 2323 N. Carson St., the largely vacant retail building next to Jimmy John’s and near Denny’s. The business is leasing 3,681 square feet and converting 2,500 square feet of a back parking lot into a play area.


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