Evan Conklin spoke out in opposition to opening a cannabis shop near a preschool.

Megan Goldsby/KCBS Radio

Preschool vs. Pot Dispensary In Santa Rosa Showdown

Megan Goldsby
April 10, 2019 - 1:14 pm

SANTA ROSA —The fight over a proposed cannabis dispensary in this North Bay city continues. The Santa Rosa city council delayed making a decision about the Fox Den dispensary on Tuesday after hearing complaints about its effect on an adjacent preschool and popular bike cafe.

The opponents said the dispensary, which would share a parking lot with Trail House and back up against Kiwi Preschool, will create traffic and safety problems. 

"The mere fact that security is required at all times clearly implies this business has the potential to be an unsafe environment,"  said Kiwi's owner Huia Pope. 

Nick Allen, whose grandchild attends the nursery, said the Fox Den would put others "at great risk as far as violent crime and robbery."

Mayor Tom Schwedhelm, however, said he was not concerned about the preschool, because there would be no pot consumption allowed on the site. The goal, he said, is to treat dispensaries like any other business. 

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Many residents spoke in support of an appealing the unanimous planning commission approval of the dispensary, saying that the parking lot is too small to absorb another business' customers. 

A lawyer for the Fox Den said that they've obtained the necessary parking permits. 

"We're talking about just a simple retail operation where you come in, you buy and you leave," the attorney said. "We're hearing about parking, we're hearing about traffic. I think one of the key things that we're also hearing about is fear."