CHA Members and other interested parties,
We lost the appeal, 2-2. The MCD will proceed with plans to open at 2414 Lombard Street (see explanation below of voting outcome). We want to give a heart-felt hats off to all those who wrote letters, those who came to the hearing, those who spoke and the many who signed our petition.
But all is not lost. Through our efforts we identified a solid team to deal with the future issues facing our neighborhood in regards to the opening of the MCD, including, but not limited too:
(1) If recreational marijuana is legalized in November, should a Medical Marijuana Dispensary be allowed to sell it?;
(2) Lobby the City to update the MCD legislation (in particular, the newly forming rules to govern
recreational marijuana) to prohibit future marijuana stores from locating within 1,000 ft. of an at-risk youth residence such as Edward II;
(3) Keep a very close watch on the Apothecarium's Lombard store's compliance with the two conditions placed on its permit:
- No sales to anyone 18 to 21years old (other MCDs sell to 18+ ages)
- No deliveries from the store
4) The Apothecarium and their supporters testified at the hearing that they are a very professional and tightly managed MCD. They also intend to give back to the neighborhood through charitable donations. We will continue a dialog with them to relay any concerns of the neighborhood and to help ensure these promises are kept.
What Happened at the Hearing -- June 22, 2016
The Board of Appeals rules state that on a motion to overturn a permit, the appellant (CHA) needs to secure 4 out of 5 votes. Conversely, the permit holder (Apothecarium) only needs 2 votes in their favor to uphold their permit. The Board Commissioner's votes were:
- 2 votes for CHA -- the Board President, Daryll Honda and Member Frank Fong
- 2 votes for MCD -- Members Bobbie Williams and Ann Lazarus
- Member Rick Swig left early
This is the second time we have lost on a tie vote. The vote at the Planning Commission was 3-3 (again, one Commissioner left early, and we needed 4 votes to win). The fact that both hearings were close reflects the solid case put forth by all that opposed the siting of an MCD at this particular location.
We had presented a 10 page brief, some 85 letters of opposition primarily from those that live in the neighborhood and a petition signed by 259 neighbors. The MCD presented some 85 letters, a number of which were not from our neighborhoods.
CHA President Lori Brooke argued our case. Supervisor Farrell gave a very strong presentation in our favor. The Edward II service provider, Larkin Street Youth Services, had their Executive Director, Board member and senior staff testified that an MCD so close to Edward would impede their efforts to better the lives of its at risk young people
Cow Hollow, Marina residents, Claire Lilianthal parents, and parents of the martial arts studio students testified that a marijuana store so close to the school walking routes, and those to and from the studio would be inappropriate. Others testified to other respects in which an MCD here would not be consistent with our neighborhood.
The MCD had marijuana patients from their Market Street store (about 50-60) testify how they were helped by the medical marijuana obtained there. Some 10-20 people from other neighborhoods testified that they needed to be close to an MCD for convenience and/or medical necessity.
Our best sense is that the two votes in favor of the MCD were because they did not buy off on what we, and Edward II operators, firmly believe is the common sense notion that permitting an MCD right across the street from EII will increase the likelihood of the residents making impulse and/or convenience buys at that location; which may lead to adverse consequences and interfere with the residents learning the skills needed to have a productive adult life.