Tag Archives: permit

Southport ‘Horror Campout’: did city follow rules in approving permit on farm property?

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 30, 2014 —

SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS DON’T REQUIRE NOTICE TO NEIGHBORS, REPORTS POLICE DEPARTMENT

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

After the “Great Horror Campout” broke camp on July 19, the News-Ledger was left with a couple of lingering questions about the permit process that allowed it to set up on a Southport farm on July 18-19. That commercial event, at which paid customers camped overnight and participated in horror-themed activities, was viewed as a disruption by at least a few of its Burrows Avenue-area neighbors.

Some of those neighbors protested at a city council meeting two days ahead of the event, as the permit was still being weighed. They objected to congestion, noise, and to the event’s gory content, and said no one had given them proper notice of the permit application.

The News-Ledger asked local police if either the applicant, 1031 Productions, or the landowner, Dave Vierra of Vierra Farms, were required to give advance notice of the planned event to neighbors as part of the city permit process.

According to the West Sacramento Municipal Code, said Lieutenant Tod Sockman in an email, “no prior event notifications to surrounding area is required by City or event staff.”

He added that a rep from the event company “walked the neighborhood and left her personal card and phone number with any residents to talk to her,” making that effort “of her own will (and in an attempt) to work with the neighbors to address any issues.”

The News-Ledger also relayed a charge from one neighbor who said he had asked the police department for a copy of the permit application shortly before the event and was told to file a California Public Records Act request and wait five days.

Lieutenant Sockman appeared to say that didn’t happen:

“Everyone that asked for a copy of the permit from the police department was directed to City Hall, which handles all PRAs (Public Records Act requests),” wrote Sockman. “(The City) had a copy to hand out if someone came in, as directed. According to City Hall, only one person actually went to City Hall to get a copy of the permit and he had it within one business day, which was prior to the weekend events.”

Lieutenant David Delaini noted that the “Great Horror Campout” filed its permit less than the required 45 days in advance, but for good cause – the event’s initial choice for a site in Sacramento had been damaged by a fire. The Chief of Police – who is responsible for deciding on such a permit, after getting input from other city departments – has the ability to waive the 45-day requirement for “good cause.”

Delaini said the permit was issued the day before the event, with the provision that there be no amplified sound after 11 p.m.

“During the course of the event,” he added, “officers from the West Sacramento Police Department conducted a total of seven ‘extra patrols’ of the area. The event generated a total of two documented calls for service. One of which was a medical aid and one was for a female who was refusing to leave the event. . . no noise complaints were called in during this two-day event.”

The News-Ledger did spot one other crime report apparently affiliated with the “Great Horror Campout.” The morning after, “Great Horror Campout” staff reported the vandalism of a $999 mannequin.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Council votes to allow indoor cultivation of marijuana, within limits

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 22, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The West Sacramento City Council voted 4-0 last week to allow cultivation of marijuana within city limits – but only in certain places, by certain people and in limited spaces.

Marijuana cultivation remains illegal under federal law.

The new city rules are meant to reconcile the state “Compassionate Use Act,” which allows people to use marijuana for medical purposes, with the rights of their neighbors. City staff say that outdoor marijuana cultivation attracts crime, for example, and generates an unwelcome odor from the plants.

In late 2012, the city placed a moratorium on outdoor cultivation of the plant.

Last week, the council approved new rules that continue to prohibit outdoor growth. The rules also require a city permit to grow marijuana. They restrict cultivation to people who live on their own residential property, allow it to be grown on up to 120 square feet of indoor space. Growing is prohibited within 600 feet of schools or child care centers.

The city planning commission recommended that distance be increased to 1,000 feet, but the city council did not adopt that recommendation. Staff said a 1,000-foot buffer “could essentially result in a de facto ban.”

Those wanting to grow marijuana will have to present medical documentation to get a permit.

One member of the public spoke out against the rules, saying, “In my opinion, (marijuana) is a forerunner to something much worse. I’m against seeing it even get started in our community.”

CITY COUNCILMAN OSCAR VILLEGAS said West Sacramento has carefully studied the issue before acting. (News-Ledger file photo)

CITY COUNCILMAN OSCAR VILLEGAS said West Sacramento has carefully studied the issue before acting. (News-Ledger file photo)

Councilman Oscar Villegas commented on the proposed rules:

“It’s not as if we’re acting like cowboys here. We’ve been very methodical and thoughtful.”

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon joined council members Oscar Villegas, Mark Johannessen and Bill Kristoff in supporting the new rules. A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the Feb. 5 city council meeting.

Marijuana dispensaries are still outlawed in the city.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Conservation group invites you to visit threatened West Sacramento trees

A row of about a 'baker's dozen' old trees is threatened by a housing project near the Tower Bridge.  The same project was allowed to remove some similar trees to the north, but the deal required the developer to fund the planting of new trees in West Sacramento (News-Ledger photo)

A row of about a ‘baker’s dozen’ old trees is threatened by a housing project near the Tower Bridge. The same project was allowed to remove some similar trees to the north, but the deal required the developer to fund the planting of new trees in West Sacramento (News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 13, 2013 —

The next phase of a housing project near the Tower Bridge threatens the existence of about a dozen large trees along West Capitol Avenue between 3rd and 5th streets.

The Capital Courtyards project by Wolff Enterprises of Arizona envisions over 300 units of apartments — and a partially-underground garage that would necessitate removal of the trees.

West Sacramento’s Lana Paulhamus and the West Sacramento Conservancy would like the city council to say ‘no.’  They’ve asked for the development plan to be re-drawn.

The trees are identified by the city as London plane trees, and by the Conservancy as a rare sycamore.

Interested people are invited to meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday at 5th and G to walk to the site.

For the News-Ledger’s report on the first phase of the project — and the removal of a different row of trees — visit www.westsac.com/blog/2012/12/10/big-old-trees-stand-in-the-way-of-new-development-in-west-sac/

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Just learning to drive —

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER:   A local dad went to the hospital with minor injuries after his student driver child went into the front wall of a Southport house on March 10. The vehicle suffered minor damage. (Courtesy of the West Sacramento Fire Department)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER: A local dad went to the hospital with minor injuries after his student driver child went into the front wall of a Southport house on March 10. The vehicle suffered minor damage.
(Courtesy of the West Sacramento Fire Department)