After the Business License Commission hit the brakes on a new cannabis consumption lounge on Santa Monica Blvd. earlier this month, City Council will attempt to rectify the legal issue that tripped up the application at their meeting next week.
The owners of Fantom Flower expected a smooth discussion of the lounge they planned to open inside the former Flaming Saddles bar.
But a report by WEHOville showed that the location was clearly within a pre-drawn buffer zone forbidding cannabis businesses within 600 feet of West Hollywood Park, and that city staff had attempted to alter the zone’s boundaries before anyone could notice. The Business License Commission was not pleased, and the application was put on hold until City Council could review the problem.
City staff members are now recommending that the buffer zone around West Hollywood Park be re-centered on the only section of the park that they believe requires it — the southern parcel, where the Tiny Tots program will operate when it re-opens. City zoning laws prohibit cannabis businesses from operating within 600 feet of so-called “sensitive-use areas” — daycare facilities, youth centers, or schools within a park property. Parks themselves are not considered sensitive-use.
The agenda item also directs city staff to review the buffer zone map, a reference document that has been used by cannabis license applicants and the city since 2017, and to make any necessary updates as they arise.