Catalina Island
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Reported on:
October 16, 2017 - 6:51am

Articles by Charles M. Kelly

This week, the City Council directed Avalon staff to bring back an ordinance regulating marijuana use at the next council meeting. The decision concluded a roughly two-hour discussion of a draft of a possible city cannabis law.  

According to Mayor Anni Marshall, the new law will:

• Allow delivery of medical marijuana to homes and to hotels. Business hours will be limited to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

At the end of a nearly two-hour discussion, the Avalon City Council directed staff to bring back a draft ordinance to regulate marijuana at the end of Monday’s study session on the issue.

Now that voters have legalized adult recreational marijuana use California cities have until January to decide whether to allow marijuana and, if so, how to regulate it locally. Monday was the council’s second study session on the subject.

The Avalon City Council looked at a proposed lease for a restaurant at the end of the new Casino fuel dock, but instead directed staff to request proposals for the project.

The proposed lease’s provision for a 50-year lease appeared to be too long for some council members.  

In other news, the commander of the Avalon Station said Internal Affairs Bureau investigators would come to the Island next week to investigate the recent fatal shooting of a bison by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy.

The Internal Affairs Bureau of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is investigating the recent shooting of a bison by an Avalon Station deputy. The bison reportedly charged at the deputy. The animal was euthanized. The Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Bureau  is headquartered on the mainland.

According to Capt. John Hocking, commander of the Avalon Station, no one from the Avalon Station will be conducting the investigation.

Capt. Hocking issued the following statement about the shooting:

The Catalina Island Company has pledged a new source of groundwater for a planned workforce housing project at Las Casitas, according to Avalon City Manager David Jinkens. Remaining water would go for use in the city.

“This is good news,” Jinkens said. “It’s not anything final.”

Jinkens gave the Avalon City Council an update on continuing discussions about building affordable workforce housing at Las Casitas and Upper Tremont.

The Avalon City Council, acting as the Board of Trustees for the local hospital, unanimously reappointed Michael Ponce and Catrina Awalt to the Catalina Island Medical Center’s Board of Directors. Ponce is a former council member. Awalt is a local businesswoman and former member of the Chamber of Commerce board. Ponce and Awalt recently completed their first three-year terms on the CIMC Board of Directors and reapplied for the positions.

The Avalon City Council will hold a study session 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 1, to look at the city’s legal options now that voters have legalized adult recreational marijuana use. The regular council meeting begins at 6 p.m. The state government has a January 2018 deadline to establish rules and regulations for legal cannabis. According to news reports, it is not clear if state agencies will be able to meet that deadline. Cities, meanwhile, have until January to decide whether to allow marijuana and, if so, how to regulate it locally.

Heal the Bay recently gave Avalon’s beach an “A” for summer dry weather water quality in the environmental group’s annual “Beach Report Card.” This was the fourth year in a row that Avalon received high marks for water quality. According to the Beach Report Card, Avalon was ranked No. 1 or No. 2 on the annual list of “Beach Bummers” from 2009 to 2013.

The Avalon City Council this week voted unanimously to increase sewer fees and salt water rates for the next five years.

The council also approved a ban on plastic foam food containers.

“The overall sewer rates increased an average of 3.5 percent beginning July 1, 2017,” said Finance Director Robert Mescher.

The City Council unanimously approved the introduction of an ordinance banning plastic foam food packaging containerss. The proposed law must return to the council for final approval. The ban on plastic foam, also known as Polystyrene, is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.  

“I’m in favor of it starting on Sept. 1st, but I’m just happy that it’s happening,” said Councilwoman Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy.