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Council to consider adopting cannabis pilot program, Civility Code and road rehab strategy
cannabis
The Turlock City Council will consider adopting a Cannabis Business Pilot Program at their next meeting (Photo contributed).

Turlock may soon be the next city in Stanislaus County to legalize cannabis sales, as on Tuesday the City Council is set to consider adopting a Cannabis Business Pilot Program.

The pilot program would allow for the regulation of cannabis businesses through a development agreement and a conditional use permit process. The proposed program would allow up to four cannabis dispensaries in the City of Turlock, along with a not specified number of commercial manufacturing and distribution businesses.

According to a report on the Cannabis Business Pilot Program developed by attorney Doug White, using development agreements (as opposed to a voter-approved cannabis sales tax) allows the City of Turlock the “necessary flexibility to regulate certain uses and encourage private participation in the public process, while allocating costs to the business operator to achieve the maximum utilization of public and private resources in the development process.”

The pilot program would require all commercial cultivation occur only within a fully enclosed building. Other requirements include specific security protocols, odor control, insurance requirements and a waste management program.

If adopted, the program would be a huge change in policy for the City of Turlock. Following the approval of Proposition 64 in 2016, the Turlock City Council adopted ordinances that prohibit all commercial cannabis activity and cultivation in the city limits.

The City Council voted 4-1 (with Mayor Amy Bublak opposing) at their April 9 meeting to move forward with developing a cannabis program.

Also on Tuesday, the City Council is expected to:

  • Consider adopting a Civility Code. The proposed Civility Code would create guidelines for acceptable behavior from Council members, Planning Commissioners and other appointed or elected officials, as well as members of the public, and provides a mechanism for disciplining those who violate the guidelines;
  • Consider adopting a City Officials’ Handbook establishing rules, procedures and guidelines for City officials in conducting City-related business. The handbook would serve as a reference on adopted practices and procedures pertaining to Turlock City Council meetings, as well as other meetings of City commissions, committees or advisory groups;
  • Consider approving a road rehabilitation strategy that establishes funding limits for maintenance, safety and project components as well as provide direction to staff on the development of project list alternatives for Fiscal years 2019-20 to 2023-24;
  • Receive an update on the outdoor emergency shelter adjacent to the Turlock Gospel Mission, the 2019 Stanislaus County Point-in-Time Homeless County Survey Results and the plan to address homeless in the County.

The Turlock City Council will meet in open session at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.