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Court date set for suit against pot dispensary

By Chris Rooney

Last November, a neighborhood group filed suit against a marijuana dispensary planned for the decommissioned firehouse at 15499 Arnold Dr. in Glen Ellen. A hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 3.

Paul Morrison, from a group called Protect Our Sonoma Valley Family Neighborhoods (POSVFN), said he was glad dispensary opponents will get “our day in court.” More than 300 people signed petitions attempting to thwart the dispensary, he added.

“We’re suing the County of Sonoma for violations of county code,” he said.

Morrison added that his group was not opposed to the legalization of marijuana, but felt the location was inappropriate as it would negatively impact the neighborhood.

POSVFN filed suit last year, claiming the supervisors violated a number of zoning issues for the project.

“The group feels strongly that Pot suit –

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the Board of Supervisors has an obligation to protect Sonoma Valley residents by enforcing their published zoning codes and traffic guidelines regarding cannabis facilities,” POSVFN’s attorney, Rachel Mansfield-Howlett, said in a prepared statement.

John and Samantha Loe (formerly John Lobro and Samantha Smith) applied for the retail cannabis shop more than four years ago. POSVFN felt it was in conflict with county codes.

In the group’s petition, the county’s own regulations are cited as proof that the supervisors acted inappropriately.

Despite zoning rules to the contrary, Mansfield-Howlett wrote that the cannabis project is “surrounded by residential uses and is admittedly situated too close to several nearby residences.”

The writ claims 187 residences surround the project site, mostly in a nearby 122-unit apartment complex situated within 100 feet of the dispensary location.

POSVFN’s position has been supported by the Valley of the Moon Alliance.