Placerville Planning Commission Approves Variance for Pot Dispensary Despite Objections From Nearby School

A new adult use marijuana dispensary may be coming to downtown Placerville despite objections from some city officials and the principal of nearby Sierra School, Patricia Horn.

Under Placerville’s cannabis ordinance, a marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 250 feet of a school. Sierra School and the proposed dispensary, Sacred Roots, are just 186 feet apart “as the crow flies.”

The city’s Planning Commission approved a variance for Sacred Roots last week by a vote of 4 to 3. That would allow Sacred Roots to go forward anyway.

In a report, Director of Development Services Pierre Rivas “said a hillside covered with trees that lies between Sierra School and Sacred Roots’ site precludes school kids from accessing the Main Street location directly,” the Mountain Democrat reports. “In fact, he pointed out, the students won’t even be able to see the marijuana store due to the thickly wooded area between.”

To walk, city staff concluded children would have to go 2,027 feet. “Thus the intent is not only met, but in staff’s opinion, exceeded,” said Rivas.

Sierra School’s principal said the proposed dispensary would still be too close and that young children would be exposed to the business on their way to and from school. The site is also located within 250 feet of a local church.

Read more here.