Council to revisit personal cannabis cultivation

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez City Council will resume its introduction and first reading Wednesday of an ordinance that would regulate the cultivation of cannabis for personal use.

The Council first undertook the topic Dec. 5, and while members generally supported its provisions, they worried that it was too strict in construction requirements for an accessory building that could be used to grow the plants.

California law limits the number of personal-use plants, whether for medicinal or recreation purposes, to six, and open-air cultivation would not be allowed.

At a previous meeting the Martinez Planning Commission had asked that the buildings be constructed so neighbors couldn’t see the plants.

But at the Dec. 5 meeting, several Council members asked that greenhouse be allowed as a residence’s accessory building where plants could be grown, wrote Christina Ratcliffe, Community and Economic Development director, in her report.

“Staff has revised the draft ordinance to reflect our understanding of Council’s wishes,” she wrote.

The accessory building must be on the same parcel as a private residence and would be in the rear yard, and the term “greenhouses” would be defined.

The greenhouse could be built of glass, rigid plastic, flexible plastic, masonry, wood, metal or concrete. If it’s less than 100 square feet, shorter than 6.5 feet and having no mechanical, electrical or plumbing improvements, no permit would be required.

Also on Wednesday’s agenda are Council subcommittee appointments. Mayor Rob Schroder is suggesting he and Lara DeLaney make up the Budget and Finance Subcommittee, he and Debbie McKillop be the City, County and Courts Subcommittee; he and Vice Mayor Noralea Gipner be the School Liaison Subcommittee and he and Mark Ross make up the Waterfront and Marina Subcommittee.

He is nominating DeLaney and Ross to the Franchise and Public Infrastructure Subcommittee and DeLaney and McKillop be the Housing and Economic Development Subcommittee.

On the Consent Calendar, the Council will consider a resolution that ends the 1975 agreement for the Pleasant Hill-Martinez Joint Facilities Agency and dissolves the agency itself.

Finance Director David Glasser wrote that the city has been working for two years to dissolve the agency, which originally was formed so the two cities could share resources. “The city has assumed and settled all of the JFA’s known liabilities, and the JFA has no known assets of which to dispose,” he wrote.

Adoption of the resolution, which would be sent to Pleasant Hill, the Secretary of State’s office and the office of the Contra Costa County Clerk would allow the JFA to be removed from the roser of Public Agencies and the list of Joint Power Agencies, Glasser wrote.

Also on the Consent Calendar is a resolution that would accept the Martinez Various Streets and Roads Preservation Project C-1047, construction performed by MCK Services; and another resolution designating Deputy Director of Administrative Services Michael Chandler as the Board member and Glasser as alternate Board member to the Municipal Pooling Authority Board of Directors.

The pooling authority of Northern California is a joint powers authority that provides risk management services.

The Council will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a closed session to discuss labor matters with the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 324, Martinez Police Officers Association; Martinez Police Non-Sworn Employees Association and unrepresented employees.

The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chamber of Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St.

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