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By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2017 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa City Council will take up several hot issues at its meeting on Tuesday, September 26th at 6 p.m. The Council’s decision could make it easier for developers to increase density and decrease parking, create new marijuana regulations, and declare La Mesa a ‘ferret friendly” city.

A proposed change in meeting time and openings on several boards and commissions are also on the agenda.

A first reading of a draft marijuana ordinance would among other things prohibit marijuana use and cultivation in city-owned buildings, except for personal indoor cultivation in residential property owned by the city.  It would also prohibit recreational marijuana-related businesses but authorize deliveries of medical marijuana from a dispensary authorized under Proposition U, which La Mesa voters approved.

Council will also hear an update on medical and recreation marijuana activities including closure of illegal dispensaries and processing of measure U applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.

La Mesa’s City Council will also consider a proposed draft ordinance adding an affordable homes bonus program to the La Mesa municipal code for the purpose of implementing state law under Assembly Bill  2501.AB 2501 requires local governments to provide incentives to developers for projects with affordable homes, and further requires local governments to adopt a local ordinance specifying how compliance with AB 2501 will be implemented.

The goal of the state law is to increase affordable housing amid a growing affordable housing crisis statewide including in San Diego County. However, controversy has arisen in La Mesa, where many residents objected to Silvergate’s apartment project at the former Little Flower Haven convent site. After the developer threatened to sue the city, the Council approved the project over the vocal objections of many neighbors who fear renters will park vehicles on nearby streets, leaving inadequate parking for residents already in the community.

A Council subcommittee has, since January, sought and received input from stakeholders who may propose affordable housing projects, as well a letter of support from the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

It is unclear whether the subcommittee made any effort to obtain input from La Mesa residents, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, or other stakeholders in the community beyond developers and a chamber based outside of La Mesa.

In addition, Council will hold a discussion and possible vote on a citizens’ request to have La Mesa be declared a ferret-friendly city.  Ferret ownership is legal in nearly every U.S. state but remains illegal in California.

The agenda also includes a proposal to change Council meeting times to enable more residents to attend.  In addition, Council will discuss openings on its Youth Advisory Commission, Environmental Sustainability Commission and Historic Preservation Commission.

For details and the full agenda see:

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