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Marijuana dispensary applicant appeals city's denial

Tamara Dean is taking on City Hall Wednesday night.

Dean will ask Grants Pass City Council to overturn a decision by a hearings officer who denied her application for a medical marijuana dispensary called Stone Age Republic because it violates city zoning regulations.

The property in question sits on Rogue River Highway and abuts land that is zoned residential. Adult businesses, such as a marijuana dispensary, are not allowed within 200 feet of residential property under city code.

Dean's proposed business meets all of the criteria of the Oregon Health Authority, which issued a dispensary license to her.

Dean told the Daily Courier that if the council rules against her she intends to appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.

If she were to win her land-use challenge, Dean will have two other major obstacles to overcome before opening a dispensary in the city of Grants Pass. One is that City Council enacted an outright ban on marijuana sales.

The second obstacle is that the city won't issue a business license to any business that does not comply with federal law, and marijuana is illegal under federal law.

In other business, the council wants to broaden a section of the Municipal Code to restrict volunteers of downtown organizations from parking in the central business parking district.

The code now excludes employers, employees, any others who engage in any business profession and students from parking downtown in certain areas.

An amendment will include downtown volunteers in the definition of "employee" under the code.

The central business parking district is G Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street, H Street from Fifth Street to Eighth Street. Also, from C Street on the north, J Street on the south, Fifth Street on the west and Seventh Street on the east, not including parking along C Street, D Street, Fifth Street and J Street.

The intent is to provide parking for downtown Grants Pass shoppers.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 101 N.W. A St.

Reach reporter Jim Moore at 541-474-3721 or jmoore@thedailycourier.com