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Outdoor Pot Ban Discussion in Roseville Continues

Councilmembers heard comments from about a dozen residents during Wednesday’s meeting, but tabled the item, pending more information and options.

The discussion on the possible ban of outdoor medical marijuana gardens in Roseville will be continued. Following comments from about a dozen residents regarding the issue, councilmembers decided they needed more options and information in order to move forward.

The skunk-like smell of marijuana is what sparked this ordinance idea. Some residents of the Cresthaven neighborhood, between Cirby Way and Vernon Street, say the smell is so bad that some residents don’t go outside and can’t enjoy their backyards.

Jack Wallace with the Cresthaven Neighborhood Association, called it a “public nuisance” and said it was “not fair.”

The proposed ordinance brought before council Wednesday evening looked at banning outdoor medical marijuana cultivations. Legal growers would have to bring their crop indoors and would be limited to 50-square-feet, not to exceed 10-feet high per residence, according to the proposed ordinance. Also within the ordinance, the marijuana cultivation would have to be out of public view and would be in effect starting Oct. 1.

Chief Daniel Hahn said the department regularly responds to calls from people concerning marijuana. The No. 1 complaint is of the smell, Hahn said. But it’s also a safety concern in regards to pot theft. Recently, at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville parking lot.

Another concern is of homes turning into grow houses. However, within the proposed ordinance, the indoor cultivation would be limited by size and primary living spaces like the kitchen, bathrooms and primary bedroom could not be used exclusively for marijuana cultivation under to the ordinance.

Wallace said the ordinance protects residents’ quality of life.

“It simply protects the neighbors from what can be a major public nuisance and also protects the rights of marijuana users to grown their marijuana,” he said.

Other residents, like Doug Van Horne, had issues with bringing it indoors.

“Indoor growing is much more costly,” he told councilmembers.

As a cancer survivor, Van Horne said he grows medical marijuana and also expressed a concern for the proposed ordinance start date of Oct. 1. He said growers have a vested interest in it and moving it indoors too soon could destroy the crop.

Some residents shared concerns for the fire danger associated with indoor pot gardens and the use of lighting. Another issue brought fourth to council was that moving the crop inside might not even solve the smell problem. Instead, the smell could continue if growers fan the crop smell back outside.

Bringing the cultivation indoors also creates an issue with enforcement, Councilman John Allard said.

“There is no way to monitor it once it’s indoors and hidden from public view,” he said.

Allard also asked if it’s possible to regulate the type of plants that grow in order to limit the smell. Vice Mayor Susan Rohan asked if an outdoor enclosure would be possible.

After listening to public comments for about an hour, councilmembers decided they needed more information to move forward.

“This is not over,” Mayor Pauline Roccucci said.

Councilwoman Carol Garcia was not present for the meeting.

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