The Cathedral City Planning Commission voted to approve a conditional use permit for a marijuana cultivation center Wednesday night. But car dealerships in the area of the proposed site are saying, not so fast.
After some heated debate from both the permit applicants and car dealership owners, the vote from the Cathedral City planning commission was unanimous.
An attorney for several auto dealerships says she will appeal the decision. If the city denies the appeal, they could find themselves in hot water.
"If they choose to march forward without proper deliberation or without good information, the city and the city council will be sued," said trial attorney Cris Armenta.
Many car dealerships say they have wanted to expand on the proposed site for years. The location borders the Volkswagen dealership on East Palm Canyon Drive. Dealership owners say city officials changed the zoning laws without giving them any notice.
"We were completely, by the city of Cathedral City, eliminated from the negotiations on anything that’s happened in the last eighteen months," said Wes Hinkle, owner of Palm Springs Volvo.
The city contends the assertion.
"Proper notification was sent out in a timely manner," said Chris Parman, Cathedral City communication manager.
Business owners say they don’t mind the cultivation of marijuana in Cathedral City. Their concern is the smell of marijuana and the location’s proximity to the auto row.
"Put them out on I-10 where they can have a darn good pot area and have a family of them out there. They can have a hundred of them. We don’t care," said Hinkle.
But the city likes the cultivation center right where it’s proposed.
"The applicant brought forth a building that is very high end and will be complimentary to the area," said Parman.