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No appeal filed for A Street pot business

The applicant for a proposed marijuana business on A Street has not filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s February vote to deny a permit.

City confirmed Tuesday — one day after the deadline — that planning department staff didn’t receive a request for an appeal to the City Council.

“As a result, the Planning Commission’s decision is final,” wrote Maria Harris, the city’s planning manager.

The commission voted 6-1 in February to deny a conditional use permit for a marijuana retail business in the historic Railroad District. Several commissioners cited concerns that the proposed business would worsen an already existing traffic problem in the area.

Commissioner Michael Dawkins was the only member to vote in favor of the application, saying the commission is being “unfair” to the application due to the nature of its business.

“I find it inherently unfair that we’re picking on this one type of business,” Dawkins said at the meeting. “If we’re going down that line, we should say there should be no retail stores whatsoever allowed in this area.”

The applicant, Jorge Yant, CEO of a Medford computer software company and owner of the building on A Street, has faced sharp criticism and scrutiny from community members and the commission since he first applied for a grow and sell site. Yant withdrew the grow site application in January.

Yant had a window of 10-day to request an appeal after the commission approved “findings of fact” in March.

He didn’t respond to two inquiries from the Tidings about the appeal.

Ashland has five recreational dispensaries throughout the city, according to Oregon Liquor Control Commission data.

—Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or tnguyen@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.