East Side Cannabis Business Gets Green Light

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The long-delayed plan to open a cannabis dispensary near Howarth Park, the Trail House Ale House and a local preschool has been given the go-ahead by the Santa Rosa City Council.

The Fox Den dispensary project was approved almost a year ago, in January 2019, by the city’s Planning Commission.  However, that approval was appealed by the nearby Kiwi Preschool, which was joined in opposition by the Trail House, a popular pub appealing to cyclists.  The dispensary was proposed for a warehouse just feet from both businesses.

At a contentious April hearing before the City Council, a final decision was delayed to give the Fox Den time to work out parking and other issues.

At Tuesday night’s public hearing, supporters and opponents once again brought their arguments before the council.  Under the city’s cannabis ordinance, new shops are invisioned to be spread out fairly evenly throughout the city, rather than citing them all in one location.  Fox Den supporters pointed to the lack of a nearby dispensary, while opponents cited disruptions and possible negative impacts to their businesses.

In the end, the council approved the dispensary on a 5-1 vote after owners pledged to come up with six additional parking spaces to accommodate customers, and made other changes to work with the cramped on-site parking.

The Fox Den dispensary is expected to open in about six months.

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