Santa Paula: Holiday Planning Commission Meeting

By Sheryl Hamlin

Citing schedule conflicts, the Santa Paula Planning Commission met on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm for its regularly scheduled meeting. There was no meeting in October or November 2015. There were two commissioners absent at this meeting: Mr. Wacker and Mr. Robinson. Present were Mr. Ikerd (chair), Mr. Demers and Mr. Sommer. Mr. Greg Kettles from the City Attorney’s office was present as were Mr. Tom Tarantino and Mr. N.D. Dobemeck from Santa Paula Planning.

Sheryl Hamlin spoke in public comments suggesting 1) that staff provide information about permits pulled by Limoneira for East Area 1 for the current fiscal year because the council was told at a prior meeting there would be infrastructure permits and 2) that the city provide links on the website to the audio recordings of the Planning Commission.

Marijuana Ordinance

Mr. Kettles presented with staff report on the proposed medical marijuana ordinance citing California’s 2015 medical marijuana laws saying that each city has until March 1, 2016 to enact an ordinance; otherwise, the state will regulate. He cited one case from 2013 (City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, Inc.) where the court confirmed the ability of local government to regulate marijuana.

The California laws have three parts: licensing, cultivation and physician oversight. A summary of the laws may be reviewed here. Kaiser Permanente’s statement may be read here. The official State of California site under the Department of Public Health is here.

A summary of the proposed Santa Paula ordinance is given below:


Chair Ikerd asked for a definition of “mobile dispensing” to which the response was a comparison to catering trucks that come to your home. Commissioner Demers said that marijuana is a controlled substance in the eyes of the federal government (see Kaiser’s statement above) so there is a potential liability to any entity with exposure to marijuana. Saying he had first hand exposure to medical marijuana, he has seen that it is poorly regulated with numerous loopholes and that the cities should wait until the State of California is serious about regulation. The State’s responsibilities in the new laws are shown on this page.

Although not discussed at the Planning Commission meeting, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on December 15, 2015 to prohibit cannabis in unincorporated areas of the county taking a “wait-and-see” approach to new laws and leaving the door open to revisiting the topic as new information arises. View the county presentation here. The county presentation appears focused on recreational use of marijuana rather than on medical use, which is what the new California laws address.

In Public Comments two speakers rose to speak about the proposed ordinance. Robert XXX, 59, of Santa Paula (last name redacted for privacy) is undergoing radiation. His medicine is delivered discretely. He needs this for pain. Marie XXX, 44 from Santa Paula, became sick four years ago and her doctor prescribed pain killers to which she became addicted. She took herself off the addicting medicine and learned about medical marijuana, which she says kills the pain from her extreme ulcerative colitis. Without the marijuana, she could not eat. She too receives her marijuana via delivery. She said that marijuana does not damage the body like the drugs and also “works wonders” for cancer.

Tom Tarantino suggested the city attorney explain the effect of the Planning Commission’s resolution. Mr. Kettles responded saying that the resolution tonight will go before the City Council for approval. Mr. Sommer added that this ordinance is not stopping anything because marijuana is already illegal. Mr. Demers reiterated his concern about lack of regulation.

The commission voted 3-0 approving the ordinance as written.

Clearly there is discord between the federal and state laws, although the 2015 California law is directed solely toward medical uses of marijuana and creates a layer to track the product from cultivation to delivery.

Type 41 Alcohol License for Best Bar-B-Que

Type 41 (on site beer and wine) requires full meal service according to the State of California, a condition fulfilled by Best Bar-B-Que. The restaurant has 37 seats, no live entertainment, no expansion plans and is located in a commercially zoned parcel. There is no undue concentration of such venues in the area. Mr. Doberneck, Associate Planner, said there are only four such licenses in the immediate area. The rest appear to be off-site sales, according to his map. The applicant, Rajpal Singh Behniwal, was present at the meeting. There were no public comments. The item was approved unanimously.

Community Care Facility Conditional Use Permit (CUP)

  1. Project No. 2015-CUP-05: A request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow a commercial Community Care Facility for six or fewer persons, at an existing healthcare service building.

Sheryl Hamlin spoke in Public Comments with three recommendations for the CUP: 1) restrict this to senior living and prohibit drug and alcohol rehab which requires extensive permitting regardless of size, 2) require the facility provide ‘affordable’ rates and 3) require a business license so that the city can determine the concentration of such facilities, as was discussed with the Type 41 beverage license.

Mr. Doberneck presented the staff report for the request of Dream Haven Care to establish a Community Care Facility at 404 E. Main Street. This report concentrated on the renovation and history of the project. There is nothing in the staff report about the applicant or the business.

The city attorney said that the state wants these types of facilities because of the shortage of senior housing. The Chair said these are a way to create a home environment for the elderly. Below is a picture of the room at the proposed center from the staff report.


The item was approved 3-0 with the addition of research into the business license.

Note that the applicant owns two other facilities in California: Camarillo and Oxnard. The Santa Paula location would be the third facility in California. The fictitious name was filed on February 7, 2015 in the Fillmore Gazette as follows:

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT File No. 10002904. The following person (persons) is (are) doing business as: Fictitious Business Name(s) DREAM HAVEN OF SANTA PAULA, 404 E. MAIN ST., SANTA PAULA, CA 93060. VENTURA. GRACE MARTINEZ CATABAY, 1757 RUBIO CIRCLE, OXNARD, CA 93030, ARLENE MENDOZA MARTINEZ, 3741 DALLAS DR., OXNARD, CA 93033, STATE OF INCORPORATION: N/A. This Business is conducted by: COPARTNERS. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names on listed on N/A. I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. (A registrant who declares as true information, which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of a crime.) Type or Print Name:. If Registrant is a CORPORATION or LLC, sign below: GRACE MARTINEZ CATABAY, GRACE M. CATABAY. This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Ventura County on 02/17/15. Notice—in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 17920, a fictitious name statement generally expires at the end of five years from the date on which it was filed in the office of the county clerk, except, as provided in subdivision of section 17920, where it expires 40 days after any change in the facts set forth in the statement pursuant to section 17913 other than a change in residence address or registered owner. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before the expiration. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under Federal, State, or Common Law (see section 14411 ET SEQ., Business and Professions Code). This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Ventura on the date indicated by the file stamp above. PUBLISHED IN THE FILLMORE GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 26, MARCH 5, 12, 19, 2015

However, a business by this same name and applicant located in Oxnard is shown as dissolved in 2006 on this database.

Dream Haven appears to be a franchise operating in different states per this report with centers in California, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Utah.

The State of California defines “integral facilities” as a virtual collection of the same business owned by the same person. This business with two existing facilities and a potential third facility appears to fall in that category and could require more licensing.

The City Council should ask the applicant for more information about his business. Neither the applicant’s business history nor the proposed rates at this location were discussed at the Planning Commission hearing.


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Sheryl Hamlin
Sheryl Hamlin
5 years ago

Additionally, staff informed the commission that the Williams Homes River Rock project MMP was closed on 12/11/2015, but would be recirculated with all comments included that have been received to date.