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Santa Rosa approves cannabis store over preschool’s appeal

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Santa Rosa has green-lit a cannabis store on the east side of the city near Howarth Park over the objections of a neighboring bicycle-friendly ale house and a nearby preschool and day care.

The City Council on Tuesday evening voted 5-1 to approve the proposed Fox Den dispensary, which will be located in a warehouse on the property that houses the Trail House at 4036 Montgomery Drive. A consultant for the project estimates the adult-use and medical dispensary, scheduled to operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., could open its doors in about six months.

After lengthy public testimony from numerous supporters and opponents of the project, council members agreed to condition the new pot store’s approval on its pledge to secure six off-site parking spaces at the already parking-challenged site.

The city Planning Commission approved the project unanimously in late January, but the nearby Kiwi Preschool & Childcare, which shares a fence with the property, appealed the matter to the City Council shortly afterward. Kiwi was joined in its public opposition by Trail House, though the pub did not lodge a formal appeal.

The council decided to postpone a decision at its initial appeal hearing in April. Fox Den came back with several changes to its previous parking and traffic plan at the rescheduled hearing Tuesday and also agreed to the additional parking requirement.

You can reach Staff Writer Will Schmitt at 707-521-5207 or will.schmitt@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @wsreports.

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