The Pacific Palisades Community Council supports Brentwood Community Council (BCC) in its issues with the recently opened pot shop, Cookies, at the Brentwood Country Mart. The approval, which asks for community notification and input, passed unanimously at the October 13 meeting.
A letter will go to the L.A. City Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) and to Councilman Mike Bonin and his replacement.
The PPCC was clear that it does not take a position on the use of cannabis under California laws, but rather on the process of the opening of a retail shop in a neighborhood.
PPCC noted that:
- The BCC did not receive any outreach or advance notice that a permit was being requested for this establishment before a permit was issued; there appear to be no available consequences or recourse for this significant omission.
- BCC and the Brentwood community were given no opportunity to provide input as to community concerns or to propose reasonable conditions on operations prior to licensing, in light of the establishment’s proximity to Paul Revere Charter Middle School.
- Although Cookies is technically outside of the restricted radius from Revere (a “sensitive use” under applicable Code provisions), the pot shop is located very near Revere and adjacent to the family-oriented Brentwood Country Mart – a centralized school bus pick-up and drop-off location for students from numerous local schools, including from Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, and where youth in grades 6-8 from Revere and young students from other local schools often congregate.
- Unlike other cities in California (including San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Pasadena, Long Beach and Santa Monica), Los Angeles does not require issuance of a conditional use permit in order for cannabis retailers to operate; current Code provisions prevent LA Planning Department review. Currently, there is no discretionary review, public hearing before a zoning administrator or right of appeal allowed.
PPCC supports Code amendments that would require cannabis retailers to obtain a conditional use permit, similar to conditional use “beverage” permits required for retail liquor stores. That would include notice and public hearing, not an over the counter or “by right” process.
PPCC stresses that its position pertains only to concerns related to the licensing process, the lack of notice, the location near a school and the inability of the community to weigh in meaningfully (or at all) on location of cannabis retailers.