Ontario City Hall

This photo shows the Ontario City Hall.

ONTARIO — In a phone interview this morning, Community Development Director Dan Cummings was discussing “conditional uses” as defined under Section 10A-52-205 of the Ontario City Code.

This is because part of tonight's Ontario Planning Commission meeting will include amending the E-5 zone of the urban growth area in the city code, which according to Cummings, is related to employment.

The amendment will include the addition of marijuana retailers, laboratories, wholesalers, processor (non-flammable) and medical grower sites into this conditional use zoning.

Cummings said that this measure is necessary for any future cannabis-based businesses that open in the city to ensure that the 1,000-foot buffer zone separation from schools remains in tact and functioning. He made note that the city had received two permits for cannabis-based businesses that had to be “grandfathered in” due to the discrepancies in the code that the proposed amendments will remedy.

The original buffer rules were established by the City Council in November of 2018.

As a side note, Cummings was asked about the 1,000-foot school buffer zone and what happens if a school was to move to another location. He said that all schools’ buffer zones will follow them. The concept was likened to an invisible bubble surrounding school property that stays in place no matter what.

Cummings said that he doesn’t expect much in the way of discussion as it relates to the cannabis amendment, however, he did say that he expects traction on action item on tonight’s agenda. This is “a request for variance from the requirement of 10C-20-55 which requires piping of irrigation or drainage ditches on property located at 715 Sunset Drive,” according to the agenda.

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