City Taking Legal Action Against Sai Center – October 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

NINTH & I STREETS – The City Council has instructed City Attorney Nancy Diamond to pursue legal action against Steven Gasparas’  Sai Center cannabis dispensary.

When the faintly-legible trailer advertsing the Sai Center’s new location was tagged as abandoned, above, it was removed from outside the cannabis center’s old location at 11th and K streets. In its place appeared the more readable and roadside carbuncle below – something of a marketing innovation among local medical providers. Photos by KLH | Eye

The center moved from its old location at 11th and K streets the night before a sheriff’s deputy and locksmith were to arrive and evict Gasparas. Gasparas does not have a required Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the new location at Ninth and I streets.

His application for a CUP has been making its way through the Planning Commission, but a Sept. 27 hearing was postponsed due to questions about the enforceability of the City’s Land Use Code ordinances regarding cannabis. The City Council will give direction to City planning staff at its Wednesday night meeting.

Nonetheless, the City is pressing ahead with enforcement. City Attorney Nancy Diamond said the City will “seek injunctive relief” via the courts. The legal action could include Gasparas as well as property owners Ken Cook, Dennis McDonald and Patricia McDonald.

“The property owners could be included in an injunction as well as the SaiCenter and Steve Gasparas,” Diamond said. “As a general matter, the City usually holds the property owner responsible for zoning violations, together with the party in possession of the property.”

Steps to close the unpermitted business could include a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, which would trigger an order to show cause. If the City proves its case, it could obtain a permanent injunction.

21 Responses to “City Taking Legal Action Against Sai Center – October 4, 2011”

  1. sid

    lets hope they do shut him down! wont he be surprised.
    I went downtown to meet the folks at HMS today + to find out what they think. They were actually nice as hell and wouldn’t really say anything bad about any of their competition, but customers there said they consider the city letting the saicenter remain open is a kick in the face of the places that are following the law.

    #38223
  2. Mark Sailors

    Sid,
    Also every other non cannabis business as well.

    #38257
  3. Eric Staples

    It’s remarkable that people turn a blind eye to the establishment enforcing mundane laws over hidden agendas. Do not think for one minute because of someone’s point of view on whether “POT” should be illegal or not that this is a proper way to exercise code enforcement. Everyone who is against this legislation is in the minority point of view. Why is it ok to enforce an agenda via legislation that wasn’t intended to curtail this type of operation which doesn’t hurt the community or affect anyone’s ability to live life to the fullest? To be perfectly honest it is only a “Kick in the face” to the other business’s if they’re trying to dispense Marijuana as well and are not allowed. Think about it!!
    Stop treading on my “RIGHTS to be healthy” & happy!!
    I’m sick of people who think their opinions are the corner stone to imposing their ideology upon my well-being!! IF you do not support medical Marijuana then turn the other way and be quiet. It shouldn’t concern you as a citizen one iota if you do not support Medical Marijuana and the right to dispense it accordingly and legally.

    #38277
  4. Mark Sailors

    Eric,
    We all have to jump through hoops, my pedicab company, Naan of The Above, everyone. The difference is we went through the proper channels to either regulate or get permission for the aspect of our business the city wanted to regulate. Either go through the process or sue over the regulations.

    #38281
  5. Ian Ray

    Mark, pedicabs have come under regulation across the country. I disagree with pedicab regulation.

    Naan of the Above’s problems made sense: the big yellow tent. They have shown what kind of community members they are.

    I would not care about this cannabis regulation other than it appears to be anti-competitive in nature. According to today’s Times-Standard, Arcata’s goal is to eventually limit operations to two such businesses instead of letting the market decide how many are necessary. The city isn’t doing that with pedicabs or naan trucks.

    #38291
  6. Ian, those businesses aren’t selling powerful intoxicants. A more apt comparison is alcohol-serving establishments such as bars and restaurants. There’s a limit on ABC licenses.

    #38293
  7. Ian Ray

    Kevin, powerful intoxicant? I’ve seen these cannabis businesses around for years and never noticed any impacts due to powerful intoxication.

    #38294
  8. You haven’t noticed any impacts. Would you call that a scientific assessment?

    Also, do you disagree that cannabis is a powerful intoxicant?

    #38297
  9. Ian Ray

    Kevin, that is not a scientific assessment, no. Anecdotally, I can’t count the number of times I’ve witnessed or read about alcohol-related impacts.

    I would disagree with the characterization of cannabis as a powerful intoxicant when compared with alcohol.

    #38298
  10. Alcohol is surely the most powerful and destructive of legal intoxicants. But “never noticing” impacts isn’t the kind of fact-finding upon which land use policy and decisions can be made with any confidence.

    Would you say that the meds they sell at the cannabis centers are appropriate for people driving buses, operating heavy equipment, doing your tax returns, teaching your kids, etc.? I’m thinking the answer to that and other tasks that require judgment and coordination is no.

    We can parse terms etc., but the centers are selling an intoxicant that profoundly affects human behavior, mentally and physically. One can certainly make an argument for market forces determining the number and density of such centers. One can also argue for some sensible regulation, which I believe Arcata has.

    #38299
  11. Ian Ray

    Kevin, tax accountants?

    #38304
  12. Sure, and scrang twaddlers too.

    #38305
  13. Mark Sailors

    Ian,
    My point was all businesses have to jump through hoops or we would have anarchy.

    #38306
  14. Ian Ray

    Mark, Californians should have no concerns about anarchy if that is the case.

    #38307
  15. IT SOUNDS LIKE TO ME THAT YOUPEOPLE THAT ARE AGAINST THIS JUST DONT WANT IT HERE JUST BECAUSE THE FACT IS, ITS A DRUG. POINT BLANK. AND YOU DONT CARE WETHER IT HELPS PEOPLE OR NOT BECAUSE YOUR NOT THE ONE WHO NEEDS IT , SO IT DONT BOTHER YOU. WHY DONT YOU THINK OF OTHER PEOPLE FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE,OR PUT YOUR SELF IN THERE SHOES. IF IT DIDNT HELP PEOPLE FOR MEDICAL REASONS THAN DOCTORS WOULD NOT EVER PERSCRIBED IT. THANK YOU AND HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!

    #38362
  16. LindaAnne

    Tonya – I think everyone who has entered a comment here is FOR cannabis, medical or recreational.
    We just have different regulation/enforcement ideals.
    Please don’t yell at us.

    Glad to read we were ‘nice as hell’ to Sid75.
    Sid75 – please intro yourself next time, as dozens of people have been wandering in to ask what is going on with all the recent issues/activity and I’m not sure which person you are.

    #38443
  17. Mark Sailors

    The idea that I am anti cannabis is so laughable I had to reread your comment ( try not using all caps… It is Internet yelling) three times…

    #38448
  18. Ha ha, welcome to my world Mark. It doesn’t matter what you do or say pro-cannabis, if you objectively point out ANY problems with its use, cultivation or distribution, people come out of the woodwork screaming at you about being “anti-pot.”

    #38450
  19. Mark Sailors

    Freaking whackos.

    #38477
  20. Ian Ray

    People need to be educated about ascenders and descenders.

    #38481
  21. Humboldt goddess

    I am for medical cannabis and have been following the Arcata situation for years. The fact that the saicenter is neglecting to go through the proper channels is a kick in the face to the city and I worry that if the city doesn’t take action against the saicenter than it will jeopardize the other clubs as well as place a red flag on the city in regards to permits in the eyes of the state and federal government. I appreciate all the city has done to negotiate and compromise with the clubs during the initial zoning process but it’s been a couple years now and unless the city zoning laws are enforced it would be all for nothing.

    #38563

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.