Tag Archives: ordinance

West Sac looks at tightening zoning rules for gun shops

NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 9, 2014 —


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento’s planning commission on June 19 approved a tightening of the permitted locations for gun shops in the city. But those restrictions were made with the approval of a couple of gun-related local business owners.

As David Tilley, the city’s principal planner, told the commission members:

“We are proposing that they become a ‘conditional use’ in our business park, limited industrial, light industrial and heavy industrial zones, and that we take them out of our community commercial, central business district, waterfront and mixed-use zones.”

(Comments here are taken from the City of West Sacramento’s video of the meeting.)

As a “conditional use” in any of these zones, gun and ammo sales would need city approval on a case-by-case basis.

Lieutenant David Delaini of the West Sacramento Police Department expressed his support for the changes.

One of two people in the local firearms trade to speak at the public hearing was Brent Dawson, who described himself as a disabled veteran and business owner of American Tactical Outfitters. That business was formerly on Northport Drive in an industrial part of West Sacramento.

Dawson said he had used to operate under the rules of a firearms “broker” –  with with no gun inventory on hand. He’s now seeking a larger location that would, in part, sell guns it kept in stock. Dawson said the new zoning seems to give him enough real estate options to find such a location.

State and federal governments already “regulate all aspects” of firearm sales, said Dawson, before voicing his support for the new zoning rules.

Dawson raised concerns that another West Sacramento business – Aim U Nation, in an industrial part of Southport – may not be in compliance with city rules. As a stand-alone retail shop that sells guns, ammo and other things, the business may not qualify as one that sells firearms only as an “accessory use” as listed.

Ken Garrett, an owner of Aim U Nation and the separate All Phase Security business, was on hand at the meeting. He said that he, too, supported the proposed zoning changes. He told the commission that his business “may not be in compliance,” but “we’re willing to take steps now.”

Planner David Tilley said the new zoning rules may clarify things and “provide a path” for Aim U Nation to solve any local licensing trouble.

Several planning commission members had comments on the issue before they voted.

Commissioner Russ Leibig gave an “aside” about Aim U Nation:

“I have a hard time seeing (firearms) as an accessory use today,” he said. “Especially with the ad that’s in even our local paper today, the primary use seems to be firearms sales, ammunition sales, and then training. . . Moving forward, maybe we can get them into this permitting process and in compliance.”

Commission member Jeremy Olsen wondered if the zoning was too strict – never allowing firearms sales as an automatically “permitted” use, and always requiring city approval of a “conditional use” permit:

“There’s no zoning designation here where it’s not ‘conditional,’” said Olsen. “If a Cabela’s or large retailer was looking to site a retail location in our town, I’m afraid they would look at it and get the wrong idea.”

Colleague Charlie Moore talked about Aim U Nation’s possible need to get into city compliance, saying “I’m just trying to make sure we’re not putting somebody out of business.”

Tilley assured Olsen that only the gun-related portion of a Cabala’s store would need a conditional use permit, and told Moore staff was communicating with Aim U Nation and trying to help that business work within the rules.

The commission approved the proposed zoning changes, and the matter will now head to the city council.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Marijuana-growing restrictions in West Sacramento: follow-up

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 18, 2013 —

An online reader of the News-Ledger complained that our Dec. 4 article detailing proposed new restrictions on growers of medical marijuana lacked enough context.

The article included a reference to data collected in West Sacramento since 2008. And it included a quote from a city staff report saying, in part, that “the number of complaints that specifically identify marijuana has doubled every year to 2012.”

The reader wanted to know if all that “doubling” had added up to a significant number of complaints – or if it was just a matter, say, of doubling just from “one” to “two.”

Here’s some more information:
According to the staff report, the city received 22 “marijuana related” complaints in 2008, rising to 112 complaints in 2012 and slipping to 92 in 2013.

The city received six calls for service regarding marijuana cultivation in 2008, rising to 27  calls in 2013.

Police were not called to any crime scenes involving marijuana cultivation in 2008, but did respond to five such calls in both 2012 and 2013.

To see the full report, look for the Dec. 5 agenda of the city planning commission at the city’s website. The report is at:


The planning commission on Dec. 5 approved the proposed new restrictions, commission member Charlie Moore told the News-Ledger. The rules would limit the size of indoor marijuana growing, prohibit cultivation within 600 feet of a school or child care center, and impose other requirements. The City of West Sacramento already prohibits outdoor marijuana cultivation.

The proposed new restrictions will return to the city council for a final vote.

The News-Ledger’s earlier article about this proposed ordinance can be found here.


  Do you like what you see here?

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013


City considers restraints on pot growing

NEWS-LEDGER– DEC 4, 2013 —

Local law already bans pot dispensaries and backyard medical marijuana groves —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The City of West Sacramento is poised to again tighten the restrictions on anyone growing marijuana at home.

The city has already outlawed marijuana dispensaries, the cultivation of marijuana for dispensaries, and any kind of outdoor marijuana cultivation. Although a state initiative legalized marijuana for medical use in the state, it still remains illegal under federal law.

A staff report for this Thursday’s planning commission meeting suggests that the commission put further city restrictions on those growing the plant for their own use, including:

— Continuing to outlaw outdoor growth of the plants

— Limiting indoor growth to 120 square feet per property, with a required minimum amount of ventilation and maximum wattage of growing lights.

— Allowing cultivation only when the grower lives on the property

— No cultivation in nonresidential zones or within 600 feet of schools or child care centers.

The staff report said that, after tracking court cases involving the rights of users of medical marijuana, city planning staff believed such restrictions would pass legal muster.

A number of residents have complained about neighbors growing the drug, said the report. Some have complained about the odor of the plants, and others have worried that the plants are a magnet for thieves and crime.

Citing data collected since 2008, the report said:

“The total number of narcotics complaints shows a peak in 2010, decreasing slightly thereafter, and then a slight rise this year. However, the number of complaints that specifically identify marijuana has doubled every year to 2012, with 2013 slightly below. . . The calls for service and crimes (plant theft, residential burglaries) related to the cultivation of marijuana have doubled since 2010.”

The city planning commission will be asked to consider the new restrictions during its meeting 6 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 5)  at city hall, 1110 West Capitol Avenue.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

YOUR VOICES: U-Haul sign too tall?

U-Haul, West Capitol Avenue (2010 News-Ledger file photo)


On Feb. 8, the News-Ledger published a story detailing how U-Haul was taking the City of West Sacramento to court in a challenge to the city’s sign ordinance. The ordinance — phased in 20 years — declares the West Capitol Avenue rental company’s pole sign is just too tall and must go.

Last week on our Facebook page, we asked for your views. Here are most of your responses:

Robert Stroy: I think if the signs are well kept they should stay no matter the size. signs are often a great business boomer and the City should respect and encourage these types things and leave well enough alone.

Debbie Norton Johnson: West Capitol looks so much better now that it isn’t littered with signs of all shapes, sizes and quality. Every other business has taken the 20 years (very reasonable time frame) to change their signage – except UHAUL.

I’ve never understood why they couldn’t lower the big letters about half way in size. It is a monstrosity. The argument that people won’t be able to find it, doesn’t ring true for me because every truck on the property says UHAUL. I like seeing the trees and the nice sidewalks and landscaping down parts of West Cap and would love to see the whole Ave beautified.

Eve Westvik: I think the city totally turned the Avenue into a dull, uninteresting strip with no character. I don’t even recognize the place anymore, it’s so soulless now. A boulevard as wide as that needs something to give it personality or everything just fades into the background. It’s no wonder there are few businesses of note there anymore. . . Thank goodness a large corporation actually wants to do business in West Sacramento. It looks better than the crummy little restaurants and liquor stores that now dot the Avenue here and there.

Shannon Gentry: Have they already removed it??The city needs to find something better to cry about…. The people do – like their depleating paychecks and increased everything else…. And you want to focus such an amount of energy on a “too high” sign that’s been a staple for SO MANY years…

Cynthia ‘Cindi’ Islas: Who cares about the sign, get rid of the crappy, run down motels that consistently have garbage, matresses, tires, and overgrown weeds all around them. Fight a battle that will actually IMPROVE West Capital and Merkely cause right now, it’s a big fat FAIL!

EDITOR’S NOTE:  To comment on this article, visit the same article at WestSac.com by clicking  here.

You can view the original article about the U-Haul sign here. 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012