Turlock’s third of four dispensaries to participate in the City’s cannabis pilot program received approval from the City Council Tuesday night, but not without some pushback from a former Councilman appealing its location.
Natural Healing Center will move forward with plans to open a retail dispensary at 3401 W. Monte Vista Ave. following Council approval of a development agreement with the business, as well as Council denial of an appeal of its conditional use permit filed by former Turlock City Councilman Matthew Jacob.
NHC’s conditional use permit was first approved by the Planning Commission on Aug. 6, and Jacob filed an appeal of the decision on Aug. 17. In a letter to the Planning Commission dated Aug. 6, Jacob stated that he and his family own the property adjacent to the then-proposed dispensary and that he had concerns about the long-term effects a cannabis business would have on the commercial and shopping district, such as reduced real estate values.
Jacob also noted the location’s proximity to Highway 99 and speculated that the all-cash business could be a beacon for potential robberies. Although he asked the Planning Commission to consider denying the conditional use permit and direct the business to find a different location, the item was ultimately approved.
Jacob’s appeal that came before the City Council on Tuesday stated that he felt “dissent with Planning staff’s assessment that the proposed project does ‘not adversely affect abutting properties,’” and asked that the decision be reversed to find a more suitable location for the project.
In correspondence sent to the City Clerk by Jacob’s lawyer, Blaine Cox, it is stated that the project is inconsistent with the City’s General Plan, conflicts with adjacent and surrounding land uses and also violates the California Environmental Quality Act. The document argues that the General Plan