The Ramona Community Planning Group recommends new stop signs and cannabis regulations for estates

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Ramona Community Planning Group members plan to send two messages to the county: add stop signs at three intersections in San Diego Country Estates to avoid driving accidents, and incorporate community recommendations into the proposed marijuana regulation.

Speaking at the July 1 meeting, Casey Lynch, a member of the Ramona Community Planning Group, which chairs the group’s Transport / Trails subcommittee, said the subcommittee was working with the county staff to improve road safety in the stands after an outcry from the community have.

A call to action was sparked by the death of 14-year-old Ramona resident Logan Krapf, who was stuck and killed by a pickup truck on the evening of November 24, 2020 while riding his skateboard on Barona Mesa Road .

Lynch said the county has conducted traffic surveys on Barona Mesa and nearby Vista Vicente Drive, which connects to San Vicente Road. He said he was alarmed that the studies showed that the average speeds of drivers in a 25 mph zone was 44 mph. Most notably, Barona Mesa is a large road that stretches 12 meters from curb to curb, which he said promotes fast driving.

“Everyone is exceeding the speed limit,” Lynch said, adding that one solution to slowing traffic could be the patrol.

The subcommittee recommended that stop signs be posted at three intersections – Calistoga Drive on Vista Vicente Drive; Vista Vicente on Barona Mesa Road; and Barona Mesa Road on Barona Mesa Way.

The planning group unanimously agreed to send the county and supervisor Joel Anderson a letter of support for the signs. However, Lynch said the county transportation advisory committee needs to review the recommendation and the county board of directors needs to approve it before the signs can be installed.

Scotty Ensign, a member of the planning group, asked for an assurance that the residents of Ramona would be informed of the stop signs prior to their installation.

The Zoubir Ouadah county traffic engineer said the community would be notified after the guards agreed. It takes about two to four weeks to put up signs, including road marking, Ouadah said.

Lynch said the stop signs are just the beginning of a series of traffic reviews and improvements.

“We are in the process of evaluating traffic from estates over the long term,” he said. “This is just step one. We’ll look at other parts of the city and do more studies, but we need to give the county time to make the right recommendations. “

In another move, members of the planning group unanimously agreed to send a letter to Supervisor Anderson and the county staff detailing their proposals for a proposed statewide cannabis regulation.

Before the vote, the members of the planning group listened to a presentation by employees of the district on a “socially fair cannabis program”. One of the most important steps in preparation for the cannabis regulation is an environmental review, which is planned for the next two years.

Aleena Benedito, planner for the District Office for Planning and Development Services, outlined the next steps: Announcement of the preparation, public comments, environmental analysis, draft of a programmatic environmental impact report and additional public comments.

As suggested, the three licensed marijuana dispensaries in Ramona – Jaxx Cannabis, Ramona Cannabis Co. and Releaf Meds – are expected to continue operating beyond an earlier expiration date in April 2022, Benedito said.

Members of the ad hoc committee on cannabis regulation drew up a list of recommendations for cannabis regulation at a Zoom workshop.

(Sentinel file photo)

During the discussion, the county officials said the ordinance could be updated to allow the sale of marijuana products for “adult use,” that is, recreational use.

Conor McGee, who works for County Planning and Development Services, said California law allows dispensaries to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older without the currently required medical card that allows them to sell marijuana products for medical purposes.

Other proposed changes to existing pharmacies include selling branded, edible and potable cannabis products and expanding their operations up to 10,000 square feet without a review of California’s Environmental Quality Act.

“We are not proposing to open more pharmacies until the ordinance is passed,” said county employee Scott Christman. “The county would only allow adult sales and allow pharmacies to expand to 10,000 square feet.”

Lynch, a member of the planning group, expressed concern that the proposal would exempt cannabis pharmacies from Ramona Design Review Board reviews if they expand less than 10,000 square feet. He said the community’s assessment boards like to oversee the exterior design, especially in scenic corridors.

Lynch presented the results of a recent Cannabis Regulations Committee ad hoc workshop on Zoom, where members worked with community residents and pharmacy owners to develop a letter of recommendation for Anderson and the county staff.

Among the proposals:

  • If for whatever reason a pharmacy closes and wants to reopen later, owners would have to re-apply under the terms of the new regulation.
  • Prevent new storefront dispensaries from opening in Ramona’s forms-based code area that covers business parks V1 through V5 from Etcheverry to Third Street
  • Promoting social justice by involving micro-businesses and disadvantaged groups in the manufacture, distribution and product testing of marijuana products.
  • Ban on-site consumption of marijuana products in pharmacies until law enforcement agencies have a chance to screen users for physical impairment to prevent unsafe driving.
  • Limit law enforcement checks to semi-annual visits.
  • San Diego County bans all marijuana advertising.
  • Offer an incentive program to currently licensed marijuana dealers such as: B. Reduced annual permit fees if they offer employment and mentoring opportunities to economically disadvantaged residents.
  • Encourage the county to use 30 percent of all cannabis-related permit fees and taxes on academic scholarships, health education, and drug abuse recovery programs.

Spokeswoman Becky Rapp raised concerns about the environmental impact of growing marijuana. She said San Diego County needs to protect its biodiverse environments that provide habitats for rare species and should consider the impact marijuana crops have on water supplies.
Spokeswoman Judi Strang thanked the members of the planning group for including a ban on marijuana billboards in their recommendations. Strang said she would like to see consumption lounges banned, but Lynch said all three Ramona pharmacy operators said they were not interested in offering lounges because they “attract undesirable behavior”.

The employees will present the proposed changes to the ordinance to the district’s planning commission on August 6 and bring the board of directors up to date sometime in October, Benedito said.

The planning group’s recommendations can be considered by the planning committee if received by Aug. 1, McGee said.